Turkish President Erdoğan Slams CHP Leader Over Brutal Murder of Özgecan
The brutal killing of 20-year-old university student Özgecan Aslan has nothing to do with socio-economic conditions or unemployment, unlike the leader of Turkey’s main opposition party has suggested, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, accusing the opposition of “politicizing the incident.”
“An atrocity has been committed in Mersin, wounding everybody’s feelings. But the leader of the opposition is linking the incident to unemployment in the name of doing politics. The perpetrator is a villain; this has nothing to do with his faith, ethnic roots, or social status. The man is a villain,” Erdoğan said in his long address to local leaders on Feb. 17.
Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said on Feb. 15 that poor socio-economic conditions were one of main causes of violence against women and the deteriorating social order, accusing the Justice and Development Party (AKP) over the last 12 years of precipitating a “social collapse.”
However, Erdoğan refuted Kılıçdaroğlu’s linking of the incident with unemployment in Turkey, saying the perpetrator of the killing was not unemployed but in fact a minibus driver.
“This man is playing politics even on such an issue. And his lawmakers are dancing, nearly celebrating. Can something like this happen? And their media is defending them: They were supposedly marking the [fight against] sexual harassment against women!” he said.
Erdoğan was referring to CHP Ankara deputy Aylin Nazlıaka, who took part in a women’s organization event to raise awareness of violence against women, rape and sexual harassment by singing songs and dancing in Ankara streets on Feb. 14. Nazlıaka made clear on Feb. 16 that the event was in no way related to the commemorations or protests to mark the killing of Özgecan Aslan.
The president also directed choice words at feminist groups, criticizing them as having “nothing to do with our religion and civilization.”
“You know these feminists. They say, ‘How can women be entrusted to men? This is an insult.’ Well, you have nothing to do with our religion and civilization. We are looking at the words of our prophet. He says ‘Women are entrusted by God. Respect and do not harm them,’” he said.