Turkish Opposition Exploits Discontent over Refugees to Target Erdogan

While the Turkish opposition has been using public unhappiness over rising numbers of refugees from Afghanistan and other countries to challenge President Erdogan’s government, xenophobic violence has also been increasing.

“Border equals honour” was the slogan on a huge banner that was hung from the façade of the headquarters of Turkey’s main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party, CHP in Ankara on August 19.

The banner was a reference to the ease with which refugees and migrants have been crossing the Turkey’s southern and eastern borders; most recently, Afghans fleeing the advance of the Taliban and have been entering the country in huge numbers from Iran.

According to official figures, Turkey is currently hosting more than four million refugees, mostly from Syria, but the opposition claims that the real numbers are up to twice as high.

Whatever their numbers, the issue of refugees has become the most heated topic in Turkey after the opposition decided to take advantage of the public’s unhappiness about the large refugee population amid the country’s ongoing economic crisis and high unemployment.

CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu on August 20 accused President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of threatening Turkey’s survival: “You have put this country’s demographic structure in danger,” Kilicdaroglu claimed.

Check Also

Middle Eastern Autocrats Sigh Relief: US Signals Democracy Summit Won’t Change Policy – Analysis

The United States has signalled in advance of next week’s Summit for Democracy that it …