Erdoğan challenges Kılıçdaroğlu for 2023 presidental elections

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has openly challenged the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to announce his candidacy and run against him in the next presidential elections although the opposition alliance has not yet decided who will be their joint presidential nominee.

“I want to make an open call from here to Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu. Since you trust in yourself that much; are sure about the accuracy of your politics and ready to bear responsibility in the future of the people and the country then bring it on!” Erdoğan said in his address to his Justice and Development Party (AKP) group in the parliament on Oct. 19.

“If you have power, if you dare and if you can move with your own will then face me in the elections. Let’s race our visions, programs, projects and excitements and let’s allow the people to choose,” Erdoğan stated.

Turkey will go to the presidential and parliamentary elections in June 2023 and Erdoğan has already been declared as the joint candidate of the People’s Alliance, composed by the AKP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). The opposition alliance, the Nation Alliance of the six oppositional parties, including the CHP, has not yet decided on its candidate. Kılıçdaroğlu is believed to be one of the strongest names for the opposition alliance’s candidate.

“If you cannot announce your candidacy because of the pressure from some groups, the secure environment we created in the past 20 years is also a guarantee for you. Let’s fight together against those who put a barrier between you and your dreams,” the president said.

The opposition alliance is yet to announce its candidate although there is only seven months to go to polls and this shows their inability, Erdoğan said “I wonder how those who cannot even agree on a candidate, will protect the rights of our people in the world?”

“Unfortunately, we cannot see any name for presidency from the opposition, including Kılıçdaroğlu. The people will not give credit to any candidate from this opposition. Therefore, we will continue to work until the 2023 elections without paying attention to what they are doing or saying,” he said.