Somebody is trying to turn the mosque courtyards of Turkey into the personal preserve of a single party, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said, while reiterating that the party would provide its own security following a recent bullet-throwing incident at him during a funeral ceremony.
“My dear friends; today, Mr. Binali [Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım] stated that ‘We will provide security for Kılıçdaroğlu.’ Provide it or not. We will provide our security on our own. Somebody wants to turn mosque courtyards into the backyard of a political party,” Kılıçdaroğlu said June 14 at his party’s parliamentary group meeting.
Kılıçdaroğlu also described those who threw bullets at him as “jackals” and “cowards.”
“Those who attack us by abusing martyrs and funeral prayers are the jackals of this government and we will not be discouraged by them,” the CHP leader said, noting that the man who threw the bullet at him was just behind Yıldırım.
Meanwhile, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli also voiced his support for Kılıçdaroğlu, calling the bullet-throwing incident “an organized and political move.”
“Throwing bullet casing is a planned, organized and a political move. It means inviting sedition and a service to the PKK [the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party],” Bahçeli said at his party’s parliamentary group meeting.
Kılıçdaroğlu’s remarks came after he was subjected to attacks and protests during an appearance at the funerals of police officers killed in recent terror attacks in the country.
İrfan Cengiz, 38, threw a bullet at him during a funeral for police victims of a car bomb attack in Istanbul’s Vezneciler neighborhood on June 7.
Police said Cengiz was the uncle of one the victims of the car bomb attack.
A wreath bearing Kılıçdaroğlu’s name was also torn apart during the funeral.
Kılıçdaroğlu held a press conference after the incident and lashed out against state authorities for failing to take safety measures and releasing the perpetrators afterwards.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also said he disapproved of the bullet-throwing incident while still criticizing the CHP head for “inciting” the masses.