Updated: Jul 16, 2021
(Hurriyet Daily News) – An ongoing tussle between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has reached Washington after the former suggested that a company that once managed U.S. President Barack Obama’s presidential election campaign has now been hired by the Kurdish problem-focused party to run its campaign for the Nov. 1 snap elections.
“In these elections, the campaign management of a certain party is run by the team that managed Mr. Obama’s campaign,” Erdoğan responded when asked about assumptions that a bomb attack which killed four people at an HDP rally in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on June 5, two days before the parliamentary elections, had actually increased the HDP’s votes by two percent.
“This team had meetings with leading figures [of this party] in Istanbul. And at those meetings, they also gathered with certain media groups,” Erdoğan said late Oct. 28 during a live interview with Kanal 24 news channel.
Accusing the HDP executive of constantly lying to people, particularly about their alleged link to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Erdoğan said, “The team that runs that campaign tells [the HDP] ‘Always use lies, always use insults because when a lie is constantly used, it eventually turns to truth.’ This is the campaigning mind, the master mind. We have all of this information. When you look, they are implementing this exactly.”
Later in the night, HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş quoted a tweet of a journalist, which summarized what Erdoğn said during the interview concerning the HDP’s campaign.
Demirtaş then tweeted @BarackObama, “Look, it seems that there is something like this, you have never been telling me, the ‘zalım.’”
The Turkish word “zalım or zalim” (stony-hearted or cruel) is commonly used in folk songs and colloquially when somebody wants to voice bitter feelings toward a friendly person.