Main opposition head says Turkey has become 'harbor for terrorist sleeper cells'

Main opposition head says Turkey has become 'harbor for terrorist sleeper cells'

Şükrü Küçükşahin ANKARA
Main opposition head says Turkey has become harbor for terrorist sleeper cells

CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu claims that the AKP government has allowed Turkey to drift into a 'terror swamp' over the course of its 12 years in power. DHA Photo

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has claimed that Turkey has become a center for terrorist organization "sleeper cells."

“Turkey has become a center harboring terrorist organizations’ sleeper cells. Ministers have started to make statements saying ‘watch out for sleeper cells’ one after another,” said Kılıçdaroğlu in an interview with daily Hürriyet.

“The people who are saying this did not come to power just yesterday, they are the ones who have ruled for 12 years,” he added.

Kılıçdaroğlu said the government had allowed the country to drift into a "terror swamp," claiming that the government "built its foreign policy on supporting terrorist organizations."

“For these reasons [Prime Minister Ahmet] Davutoğlu cannot govern the country. At this point [after] 12 years in power, there is a problem-making government, not a problem-solving government. The problems they make not only worry their citizens inside [the country], but are also a reason for anxiety in the modern world. There are great worries about Turkey,” the CHP leader said. 

A former top official of Turkish intelligence, Cevat Öneş, had warned in a Jan. 10 interview with daily Cumhuriyet that jihadists were “highly likely” to activate their sleeper cells in Turkey in the face of the recent developments in the region, but especially in Syria and Iraq.

Kılıçdaroğlu said Ankara's unsuccessful foreign policy had led Turkey to be “isolated” from the rest of the world in a manner designated by the government as “precious loneliness.”

“To tell the truth, Davutoğlu could not manage his Foreign Ministry post. I did not say that he was the most narrow-minded minister without a reason. He is in the same position as the prime minister,” he said, adding that Turkey no longer has embassies in three big capitals in the Middle East, while Turkish citizens are unable to even travel to many countries.

Meanwhile, posting on his official Facebook page, Kılıçdaroğlu also asked Davutoğlu, who attended the march against the deadly attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris on Jan. 11, whether he "knew the basic values of the protest in which he participated - democracy and the rule of law."