Main opposition head questions state’s existence in eastern Turkey
AFYON – Anadolu Agency
CHP head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. AA PhotoMain opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has taken aim at the government over the latest wave of violence in Turkey’s eastern provinces, asking whether the state “really exists” in the region.
“Does the state really exist in [Turkey’s] southeast? First we have to ask this question... What is happening in the southeast? Is there a state there, or is there not? Our soldiers are being martyred in the middle of the street, village guards are being killed by being tied to poles. Who is responsible for this?” said Kılıçdaroğlu, speaking to journalists in Afyon on Oct. 26.
Three soldiers were killed in a gun attack in the middle of the afternoon on Oct. 25 while walking in the town center of Yüksekova in Hakkari, a province located in Turkey’s southeastern region.
Meanwhile, a village guard who was kidnapped by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) two months ago was found dead on Oct. 26, hanging from a telegraph post in the Tatvan district of the southeastern province of Bitlis. The village guard, who was identified as Nihat Çaprak by the General Staff, was shot at after being tied to the post.
The General Staff issued a harsh statement on Oct. 27, saying it “condemned this savage incident committed by inhuman, furious felons.”
CHP head Kılıçdaroğlu questioned who was responsible for these incidents, asking where Turkey’s prime minister and ministers were amid the killing of young soldiers and village guards.
“Where is the prime minister? Where are the ministers? How do they govern this country? Where is reason, where is foresight? I have never seen such a thing. This is the first time I have seen such a government,” he said.
Kılıçdaroğlu particularly singled out the remarks of Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi on Oct. 26 after the killing of the soldiers.
“A minister says, ‘We sent the depository soldiers there, they were killed.’ Who could ever be defined as a depository in his own country, own land? Could there be such a perspective?” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Zeybekçi had also said the killers of the soldiers were “traitors” who were “not dignified enough even to be called a terrorist.”
Street clashes claimed dozens of lives earlier this month across Turkey during protests over the government’s perceived inaction over Kobane, the Syrian border town that has been under siege by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) for over one month.