Mehmet Kayhan Yıldız - Hasan Dönmez - Ali Saylam / Istanbul, May 27 () - Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has vowed to support farmers if his party is elected in the June 7 general elections during a campaign stop in the Central Anatolian province of Konya.
“I will not shut down any sugar refinery. We will produce our own sugar. We will trust our own farmers’ strength and elbow grease” Kılıçdaroğlu said May 26 at the CHP rally in Konya’s Ereğli district, vowing to support farmers. “During the time when the CHP is in power, we will not discriminate among people whether they have voted us or not; I will embrace all of my 77 million citizens.”
Konya had the highest production of sugar beet, the raw material of refined sugar, in 2014 with 5,029,807 tons of production on 74,144 hectares of land, according to Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK) data released on May 10. Konya supplied 30.3 percent of Turkey’s total sugar beet production last year.
Kılıçdaroğlu continued his vow to support agricultural activities with an election promise he put forth in the party’s manifesto announced on April 19, about the reduction of diesel oil to 1.5 Turkish Liras for farmers.
“They ask me, why do you give [fuel oil] for 1.5 liras? Can you afford this? There is a difference between them and us as big as Mount Ararat. There is a difference of understanding. They zeroed the value added tax and special consumption tax for jewelry. I zero [the taxes] for diesel oil” said Kılıçdaroğlu.
“You support pearls, rubies and diamonds, I support the elbow grease of the farmer. This is the difference between us” he added.
Later in the day, in Konya’s Akşehir district, Kılıçdaroğlu reiterated his elections promises to give two pensions to retired people on the two religious holidays celebrated each year.
He criticized the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government saying they emphasized their construction of roads but all governments had built roads.
“Is there any government that has not constructed roads? All governments have. We have built bridges. Is there any government that has not constructed bridges? If you could not end unemployment in 13 years, if there are 6,250,000 unemployed, what have you done?” Kılıçdaroğlu asked, adding that the AKP had not brought an end to poverty.
Stating that there were 17 million poor citizens in Turkey, Kılıçdaroplu accused the government and their relatives of becoming rich while the citizens were in bad and poor conditions.