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Erdogan launches his campaign for the presidency in the earthquake zone


Aksener held him responsible for targeting her party’s headquarters in Istanbul

Yesterday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched his official election campaign from areas devastated by the February 6 earthquake, while tensions in the country worsened after the headquarters of an opposition party was attacked in Istanbul.

“We came to serve you, not to lead you,” the Turkish president said, in Gaziantep, near the border with Syria, in front of a crowd near a housing project that began in the province. Six weeks before the May 14 elections, the head of state intensified his promises of reconstruction and visits to the tents of survivors of the earthquake, which left more than fifty thousand dead, three million displaced, and hundreds of thousands of afflicted families.

Confronting Erdogan, 69, three candidates whose candidacy was approved by the Electoral Commission this week intend to compete with him in the hope of the opposition succeeding, led by Kamal Kilicdaroglu, the “table of six” candidate.

In a related context, the headquarters of the opposition “Good” party in Istanbul was subjected to an armed attack, during which an unknown person fired 3 bullets from a rifle at the ground floor, one of the windows, and the third floor of the building located in the Zeytinburnu neighborhood.

The attack came after intense tension between Erdogan and party leader Meral Aksener. In statements in front of the party’s headquarters, Aksener held the Turkish president responsible for the attack, and denounced the attempt to “intimidate” the parties weeks before the elections. And she said in a speech she delivered alongside the mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu, yesterday: “Mr. Recep (Erdogan) threatened me 3 times. My house has been attacked before, without the culprit being caught. And now, our party’s regional headquarters in Istanbul have been shot at, less than two days after Erdogan threatened me.
Erdogan launches his election campaign against the backdrop of escalating differences with the opposition