During an opening ceremony in Turkey’s northern city of Trabzon, the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held the microphone as a 10-year-old boy was moved up onto the stage to address the crowd and called the main opposition leader ‘traitor’ on Sunday.
“Friends, this Mr. Kemal… Who is this Mr. Kemal that he dares confront my uncle president? That man is a traitor. A traitor! This man here is the best of all. Vote for him.” the boy said, and was responded to with cheers and applause while Erdoğan and all the officials on the stage smiled.
The Turkish interior minister Süleyman Soylu later strangely said on Twitter that ‘the boy had called the friends of Eren Bülbül’s murderers traitor’, referring to 15-year-old Eren Bülbül who’d been killed in clashes between the Turkish military and a group of fighters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in August 2017. Bülbül was asked by the military unit in the incident to guide them to the place where the PKK fighters were supposedly deployed.
The main opposition Republican People’s Party’ chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu reacted to the incident.
“I was truly horrified when I watched it. We’ve never experienced such a thing. My sole purpose is to be able to leave a beautiful country for our children,” he said.
Kılıçdaroğlu added that the boy himself was totally innocent and called on his supporters to delete their posts and messages of protest on social media platforms.