AKP ‘uncomfortable’ with CHP’s support for Afrin operation: CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
The Turkish government is “uncomfortable” with the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) support for Turkey’s ongoing “Operation Olive Branch” in Syria’s Afrin district, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said on Jan. 26.
“Operations are being conducted in Afrin. Should there be operations? Yes. We have no objections. We have full trust in our heroic army. They are fighting in the frigid, biting cold. For whom are they fighting and why? To stop terror and for everyone in this country to live in peace. We stand by this struggle. But some people are uncomfortable with our support. I know this very well,” Kılıçdaroğlu said at a symposium in Istanbul.
“For peace in our country, for the security of our country, we believe Turkey comes first. This country is very valuable and important for all of us. The Republic of Turkey is not a country whose borders were drawn with a ruler. On every piece of land in this country there is the blood, pain, and tears of the people of this country. The War of Independence was not fought for nothing. It was fought to dignify democracy,” the CHP leader said.
Kılıçdaroğlu once again demanded a recording of a phone conversation between U.S. President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Jan. 24, as statements from U.S. and Turkish officials have differed over the content of the call.
“You look at their statements and see that they’re both different. They [Turkish government] say, ‘We talked with Trump.’ Well, good, talk to him. Is there an objection? No. You’ll tell us the facts. That place [Washington] is giving out different statements, too. And what I’m saying is that if there is a difference, release the [phone call] recording. Release it so that you can embarrass the Americans. Prove them wrong, say: ‘Hey [Donald] Trump, you are not speaking the truth, look, the recording is here.’ Why are you hiding this?” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Meanwhile, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Mahir Ünal slammed CHP officials on Jan. 26 for calling the Free Syrian Army (FSA) a terrorist group, urging the main opposition to “quit using such rhetoric.”
“The CHP has deliberately been using a language that claims Turkey’s ally on the ground in Syria is linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL]. I urge the CHP to quit using this dangerous rhetoric,” Ünal said.
“What they are doing is very dangerous. They use this rhetoric to smear the military wing of the Syrian opposition as a terrorist organization, just as they did with the Syrian people’s seven-year-long resistance,” he added.
“The ally of ISIL is the Democratic Union Party [PYD],” the spokesperson said, claiming that the Syrian Kurdish group helped a member of ISIL enter Turkey before he was caught by Turkey.
“We know that the PYD helped ISIL terrorists enter Turkey and undertake attacks,” Ünal said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also slammed the CHP officials, calling them “impudent” for claiming the FSA were terrorists.
“I am addressing those who are labelling the Free Syrian Army as ‘terrorists’ clearly: Members of the FSA, who have been participating in this struggle along with my troops, are the soldiers of this honorable struggle. I applaud them,” Erdoğan said on Jan. 26 in Ankara.