Erdogan’s advisor faces backlash after affiliating Kurdish voters with PKK

Erdogan’s advisor faces backlash after affiliating Kurdish voters with PKK
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Ayhan Ogan, a prominent advisor to AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has ignited a fierce debate after publicly declaring that 13 provinces, which showed significant support for Kemal Kilicdaroglu are affiliated with the PKK.

An advisor to Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan accused people living in 13 Kurdishn majority provinces in Turkey’s southeast of being affiliated with the PKK after the electorate in those provinces voted heavily for the opposition’s joint presidential candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu in the first round of elections held on May 14.

Ayhan Ogan, one of Erdoğan's chief advisors, used Twitter to express his views, trying to be ironical: "Mr. Kilicdaroglu is a patriot. What does he have to do with the PKK?" In the tweet, Ogan shared a table showing the 13 Kurdish-majority provinces in the Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia regions where the pro-Kurdish HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) is influential. The table displayed the votes received by the CHP (Republican People's Party) in these provinces in 2018 and the vote percentages Kilicdaroglu obtained in the presidential elections.

Ogan's accusations of openly labeling these provinces as PKK-affiliated received strong backlash.

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoglu denounced Ogan’s statement, saying, "This gentleman (Ayhan Ogan) is the chief advisor to the president. Do you know what he means by saying 'Mr. Kilicdaroglu is a patriot, what does he have to do with the PKK” He is calling my fellow citizens from Van and Ardahan PKK members. According to him, anyone who voted for Kilicdaroglu is a PKK member! This individual is obsessed with imams and religious communities. He is burdening his team with such ideas. I have never seen such trolling before."