12 March 2019:
Campaigning is heating up ahead of nationwide elections for local mayors and councillors on March 31. Opposition parties have come to together in a series of formal and informal local alliances to try to dent the prestige of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Islamist party. Erdoğan has repeatedly accused the opposition of cozying up to terrorists.
The prosecutors’ investigation follows a television interview given by Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Aysu Bankoğlu this week in which she said her party was defending the rights of workers and the marginalised, regardless of their background, and even if they were members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The PKK is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
"They could be PKK members, it doesn’t matter. Our principals are set. Everyone we have defended and sided with are evident," Bankoğlu told pro-CHP station Halk TV.
The CHP lawmaker came under a barrage of criticism following the interview, with former Ankara mayor and ruling party member Melih Gökçek taking to Twitter.
"Are you not going to wake up CHP?’’ he asked. "Those who say they are looking for the PKK’s votes are ready to serve the PKK."