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Turkish opposition criticizes PM Erdoğan for Gadhafi prize

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News | 2/21/2011 12:00:00 AM |

The main opposition chief has criticized the Turkish prime minister for being silent on the violence in Libya after receiving a human-rights award from Libya's leader.

The main opposition leader has criticized the Turkish prime minister for being silent on the violence in Libya, saying he is “doing well by the award” given to him Nov. 30 by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan received the Kadhafi International Prize for Human Rights from the Libyan leader in Istanbul. In remarks made at the time, Erdoğan said: “You can be sure this award, which I take in the name of my country and nation more [than] my own, will encourage our struggle for human rights on a regional and global scale.”

“He is doing well by the award,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the Republican People’s Party, or CHP, said this week.

Kılıçdaroğlu also expressed his support for the ongoing protests in Libya and said repression should not be allowed anywhere in the world. “We believe that Libyans need democracy, human rights and equality,” he said. “Our hearts are with democrats and libertarians. We support them. We are together with them.”

NTV reported later Monday that sources from the Prime Ministry said the Gadhafi prize would not be returned.

In response to criticism that Erdoğan kept his silence toward developments in Libya, Deputy Prime Minister Hüseyin Çelik said Monday that others’ words are not decisive on what and when the prime minister might say something about the developments in the country. “The life, property and safety of the Turkish people in Libya as well as our two countries’ mutual interests are important. Politics is not something that is carried out by feelings,” Çelik said.

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