President Erdogan slams HDP in Diyarbakir
Erdogan criticizes pro-Kurdish party's mayors for not greeting him at airport during speeches in Diyarbakir and Batman
DIYARBAKIR / BATMAN, Turkey
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has slammed pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and its mayors during a visit to the southeastern cities of Batman and Diyarbakir to mark the public opening of development projects on Saturday.
Criticizing Batman Mayor Sabri Ozdemir for not showing up at the airport to greet him on his arrival, Erdogan said: "I am the President of Turkey, the first ever popular-elected.
"I thought I can pay a visit to the governorship and mayorship, but the mayor of Batman did not show the courtesy of greeting me at the airport."
"Now, as the president, is it right for me to visit the mayorship despite their impoliteness?" he asked.
Erdogan also said upon his arrival in Batman for the public opening ceremony of development projects in the city, that there was lots of dirt and garbage in the city's alleys, adding: "Nobody has the right to damn Batman to garbage and dirt.
"If we are talking about a modern Turkey, every institution should do its job."
Erdogan said the residents of Batman would be able to benefit from investments worth 302 trillion Turkish Lira ($ 111.5 trillion).
He also slammed HDP for its promise to abolish Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate, the Diyanet, which recently published a Kurdish translation of the Quran, with the name "Qur'ana Piroz a Kurdi", meaning "Kurdish of Holy Quran".
He asked: "They promised to abolish Diyanet. Why? Because they don't have anything to do with the religion, but we will continue to do our job, step-by-step."
Erdogan then moved to Diyarbakir for another mass opening ceremony, his first visit there as President.
In Diyarbakir, Mayor Gulten Kisanak also did not appear at the airport to greet Erdogan.
Erdogan also slammed the HDP in Diyarbakir, saying investors were afraid to do business in Diyarbakir because of the HDP.
He said: "They (businessmen) are afraid of investing in Diyarbakir, asking themselves when the city will be bombed or set on fire.
"These people (HDP) do not have mercy. They set schools and libraries on fire."
HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas recently criticized Erdogan, asking how the president gave speeches to crowds and with whose money.
Erdogan answered in Diyarbakir: "I show up before people with the state's money. I am the president, it is my natural right."
Erdogan said he received 52 percent of the votes to be elected President.
He said: "Was not he a presidential candidate as well? He was.
"If you (Demirtas) had had the same votes, I would have respected you as well. You are being rude."
Criticizing Mayor Gultan Kisanak, Erdogan said: "These people got their order from 'Mount Qandil', where the terrorist organization PKK mainly settles.
"I could not visit the mayorship, when the madam does not greet me."Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.