Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned his supporters of the consequences of politics turning ugly. Speaking at two rallies in front of mosques in Istanbul, he accused the political coalition opposing him of being driven by “vengeance and ambition” and called for an end to the tactics that have been used in the past to “capture political parties and seize control of the state.” Erdogan also criticized opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, whom he accused of being a tool that destroys every institution handed to him.
Erdogan went on to praise the defense industry and the employment opportunities it provides, while also denouncing the immoral practices and price fluctuations in the agricultural sector. He also joked about Kilicdaroglu’s recent proposal to former presidential candidate Muharrem Ince, saying that such behavior was not acceptable in politics.
Erdogan also claimed that FETO, a group accused of orchestrating a coup in 2016, was behind the tactics used against Ince. Erdogan’s comments come ahead of the June 23 Istanbul mayoral election rerun, as his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) fights to regain control of the city’s municipal government.