Turkish main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has urged First Lady Emine Erdoğan to burn her Hermes handbag following President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s call to boycott French goods.
Kılıçdaroğlu said that the people already can’t purchase French goods due to the economic downfall of the country.
“Can the citizens buy French goods? The presidential palace socialite can implement the boycott. They have French-made planes, sell them immediately,” Kılıçdaroğlu told members of his party at a parliamentary group meeting on Oct. 27.
“Mrs. Emine has a [Hermes] bag. She should burn it in the garden of the presidential palace and say, ‘I protest [France],’” he added.
Emine Erdoğan’s Hermes handbag has created controversy in the country due its cost being $50,000 when she was using it in 2019.
Erdoğan was criticized due to using the bag in the country that people are suffering from increased unemployment and poverty. The price of the bag corresponded to 144 minimum wages at the time.
Following President Erdoğan’s call to boycott French goods, the bag became a trending topic on Twitter on Oct. 26.
During his speech, the CHP leader also said that the people can’t buy bread, deeming the calls for a boycott meaningless.
“As if local shopkeepers and workers take a French perfume home everyday,” he said.
Kılıçdaroğlu’s remarks came after Erdoğan urged all Turks to boycott French goods in a row that began after French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to fight “Islamist separatism,” saying it was threatening to take over some Muslim communities in France.
The country has since been shaken by the beheading of a teacher by an Islamist militant, avenging the use of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a class on freedom of expression.
For three days, Erdoğan said that the French president needed a mental health check, repeating a rebuke that caused France to recall its ambassador from Ankara over the weekend, as he appealed to Turks to shun French products.
“Just like they say ‘Don’t buy good with Turkish brands’ in France, I am calling to all my citizens from here to never help French brands or buy them,” Erdoğan said.