CHP outlines seven mistakes in AKP’s Syria policy
The main opposition party leader has outlined seven major policy mistakes committed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Syria since 2011, which have burdened Turkey with hosting 3.6 million Syrian refugees and spending tens of thousands of billion dollars for their care.
“Turkey has made some very important strategic mistakes on Syria. I will cite those under seven items. You (the AKP) will not be able to challenge them, because they are 100 percent true,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the head of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) told his parliamentary group at a weekly address on Nov. 5.
According to Kılıçdaroğlu, the AKP’s mistakes since 2011 are listed as follows:
- Turkey failed in its assessment on the place of Syria in the international order. One of the most important reasons for that was the exclusion of the foreign ministry and experienced diplomats from the decision-making processes. That brought about an adventurous foreign policy.
- Turkey has become the subcontractor of imperialistic powers whose objective was to divide Syria. It became a party of these policies as well as of proxy wars taking place in the Syrian theater.
- As a subcontractor, Turkey has paved the way for the free passage of terrorists to and from Syria, sparking criticism from the West for allowing a “jihadist highway” on its soil.
- Turkey has failed to give a strong response against the kidnapping of its 49 citizens including its Consul-General in Mosul by ISIL in 2014. Although it had all the rights stemming from the international law, it did not react against the terrorist organization who kept its citizens 101 days.
- Turkey also failed to protect the Süleyman Shah tomb in northern Syria, Turkey’s one and only territory outside its borders, in the face of threats by ISIL in early 2015. That strategic mistake has made Turkey a country which cannot protect its own territories.
- Turkey failed to struggle against ISIL and protect the territorial integrity of Syria. If Turkey would stage an effective fight against ISIL, it would have a much different and positive place in the eyes of the international community.
- Because of wrong policies, Turkey has ended up being wrong although it is right on its fight against terrorism. Instead of carrying out an effective campaign to convince the international community that the Operation Peace Spring against terrorism was held to address Turkey’s legitimate security concerns in line with the international law, the government officials’ use of a narrative based on “conquer” has weakened the legitimacy of the operation.
Erdoğan has to return Trump’s letter
Kılıçdaroğlu also recalled a letter sent by U.S. President Donald Trump to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Oct. 9. The letter called on Turkey to avoid a unilateral action in Syria in a language that violates basic diplomatic protocol rules.
“Erdoğan said he will bring the letter to the U.S. with him. Well, hasn’t it already been put in a trash?” Kılıçdaroğlu said, calling on the president to return the letter to the sender through diplomatic channels.
“’This letter is an insult to our people,’ you should write to him. ‘We can’t have something like that in our archives,’” he added.