Opposition: PM confessed to Turkish gov’t intervention in Syria
Rifat Başaran/Umut Erdem - ANKARAThe opposition parties of Turkey have argued that a recent statement by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu was an acknowledgement of his government’s interference in the domestic affairs of Syria, thus a violation of international law.
“Despite the backing of Russian airstrikes, Syrian regime forces still couldn’t capture either Idlib or Aleppo,” Davutoğlu said in an interview with international Al Jazeera channel.
“How have they defended themselves if there was no Turkish support?” he was quoted as asking in the interview by the state-run Anadolu Agency on Feb. 23. “If there is a truly moderate Syrian opposition today, this is thanks to Turkey. If the regime is today not able to control all territories of the country, it is thanks to support from Turkey and other countries,” Davutoğlu said.
The statement by the prime minister clearly showed Turkey’s “intervention in domestic affairs of Syria,” Rıza Türmen, a deputy of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said, recalling the U.N. Charter’s established principle of non-intervention.
“This expression is very wrong in regards to international law. States have the right to sovereignty in their own countries. If another state uses this sovereignty, then this would mean intervening in internal affairs. Such intervention is against the United Nations charter,” Türmen, who was previously a judge at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), said. “Jurisdiction on this issue belongs to the International Criminal Court [ICC], but for the court to use its authority, both of the sides need to recognize this authority,” he said.
Turkey has neither signed nor ratified the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the ICC. Syria is not a state Party to the Rome Statute either.
Hişyar Özsoy, a deputy of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), described Davutoğlu’s statement as “an interesting confession.”
“There is an extraordinary situation both in Syria and in the region. Everything is unlawful. When you look at what Turkey is officially saying, it is: ‘I am supporting some groups against the state in Syria.’ This is a statement that confirms a violation of international law. It is an interesting confession. It is unacceptable in regards to international law,” said Özsoy, who also serves as the party’s deputy co-chair in charge of external affairs.
According to Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the statement portrayed “a fatal situation.”
“This is a confession that says Turkey is involved in proxy wars and threats against territorial integrity of Syria by building of authority of terror organizations,” MHP deputy parliamentary group chair Oktay Vural said. He added that through the statement, Davutoğlu had actually revealed the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) “responsibility” in the growth of the regional hegemony of both the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Syria’s Democratic Union Party (PYD), which Ankara says is affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).