POLITICS > Syria argument raises tension in Davutoğlu’s Parliament briefing

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

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The discussion occurred as Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu briefed members of the Foreign Affairs Commission yesterday concerning developments in Turkey’s foreign policy at a closed-door meeting, which was dominated by Syria. AA photo

The discussion occurred as Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu briefed members of the Foreign Affairs Commission yesterday concerning developments in Turkey’s foreign policy at a closed-door meeting, which was dominated by Syria. AA photo

Sevil Erkuş Sevil Erkuş sevil.kucukkosum@hdn.com.tr

Tension rose between opposition deputies and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu yesterday at Parliament, with the Republican People’s Party (CHP) claiming that Ankara had originally advised Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to share power with the Muslim Brotherhood at the beginning of the country’s crisis.

The discussion occurred as Davutoğlu briefed members of the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Commission concerning developments in Turkey’s foreign policy at a closed-door meeting that was dominated by Syria.

CHP lawmaker Refik Eryılmaz said that at a meeting in Damascus, al-Assad told him about the reported proposal, noting that it was impossible because the Muslim Brotherhood was as anathema to Damascus as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is to Ankara.

According to a deputy who participated in the parliamentary briefing, Davutoğlu totally dismissed the allegation and angrily said: “You believe in al-Assad who is the killer of 150,000 of his people, who used chemical weapons against his people. You do not believe the Turkish prime minister. We didn’t even mention the Muslim Brotherhood during our meetings with al-Assad.” 

The opposition also alleged that the Turkish government was supporting al-Qaeda-affiliated groups fighting alongside more moderate opposition groups to topple al-Assad’s government.

'We don't support al-Nusra'

Davutoğlu, however, again claimed that Turkey does not support any al-Qaeda-affiliated group in Syria.

“We don’t support the al-Nusra Front, or al-Qaeda or any terrorist groups in Syria,” Davutoğlu told members of opposition parties yesterday, one of the participating deputies told the Hürriyet Daily News.

His reply came following questions from CHP deputies Osman Korutürk and Eryılmaz about the allegations that Turkey permits arms shipments and the transfer of militants to Syria through its borders, while also providing safe houses for members of al-Qaeda-affiliated groups such as the al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies also criticized the Turkish government for blocking humanitarian aid to Kurdish-populated areas of northern Syria, known as Rojava. 

“If the Syrian regime leaves all its capacities to a certain group [the Democratic Union Party (PYD)] while withdrawing its forces from the region, and if that group [PYD] puts pressure on other Kurdish groups in the region and also fights against the Syrian opposition here, then there is some other agenda,” Davutoğlu said in response to the BDP’s questions, according a participant, implying that the PYD, which also has links with the PKK, supports the Syrian administration.

In reply to a question about Turkey’s decision to start contract talks with a Chinese company for a long-range missile-defense system, the minister reiterated that the government had not made its final decision. 

“We will take into consideration if other companies make new proposals in terms of the criteria we determined: joint production, price and time of delivery. Every cent is important for us,” Davutoğlu told lawmakers, according to another deputy. 

Davutoğu also said the Turkish government was in talks with the Iraqi government for new customs borders between the two countries.


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Notice on comments

american american

11/8/2013 11:39:03 AM

ilker, sure america designed a lot things, but that doesn't make the tofas or the anka great products.

ilker avni

11/7/2013 11:22:41 PM

@Alex kader Al qaeda was manufactured by the united states, they ally osama bin laden,you shouldnt be surprised by anything the u.s does,or says,iam quoating what i read in the zaman press last week.Which stated that Iran funds terro and exports terro in syria via turkey,pakistan and iraq,to make these countries look like they support al qaeda,irans agenda to blame turkey looks like working,causeing trouble in turkish parliment blameing goverment for supporting terroists,which davutoglu denies.

alkan alkan

11/7/2013 6:00:20 PM

Davutoglu, Distinguished Professor of Strategic Shallowness and disastrous foreign policy.

Çılgın Kanarya

11/7/2013 5:42:22 PM

Çiǧ Yürek Köfte(si), lol. Good one AMERICAN! Within 10 years, that speciality will probably be being served at AKP Headquarters in Ankara! Slaughtering sheep at Kurban Bayramı will become a tradition of the past, to be replaced by slaughtering secularists for their hearts :)

Joshua Bronxman

11/7/2013 3:05:41 PM

CK - The US allied with jihadists in Afghanistan when they felt it was to their advantage in fighting the Soviets. Also, Assad allowed jihadists free passage into/out of Iraq to fight the US to support a fellow Bathist (Sadam Hussein). In both cases the jihadists came back to bite them in the behind. In Turkey's case, aren't these groups spending more time fighting Kurds rather than Assad. I think once it becomes 3 cases out of 3, nobody will do it again.

american american

11/7/2013 12:32:30 PM

assad didn't kill 150,000. turkish supported rebels have killed a significant amount of that number and then ate cig yurek kofte after doing so. and davut abi, what about that turkish truck they just found? looks like mit lost a shipment to local law enforcement. don't you just hate when that happens!

Ahmed Turk

11/7/2013 12:10:18 PM

Its so funny to see many comments against or belittling what the foreign minister is saying, if CHP Deputies have proof then show us, why is it whenever Erdogan says anything (and I don't support him in everything) everyone is like a tone of bricks on him, just look at Turkey now and how Turkey has been for the last 80 years before him, think about it Turks! DO NOT LET YOUR EMOTIONS TAKE OVER YOU, the world is watching you for God sake.

Kemal Candar

11/7/2013 9:59:51 AM

“We don’t support the al-Nusra Front, or al-Qaeda or any terrorist groups in Syria,” Davutoğlu told members of opposition parties yesterday. That's right Mr. Davutoğlu, you and your boss are supporting them in Turkey.

Alex Kader

11/7/2013 9:09:16 AM

Mr. Ilker Avni you are in a dream land man:) If USA supports the communist guerrillas, then Iran supports Al Qaeda. I am sure you will find many people they will believe this story in fanatic Sunni world. haha

Alex Kader

11/7/2013 8:49:39 AM

I hope Davutoglu shares the nightmares of the Syrian people. He is the number one responsible person from this humanitarian tragedy. He and RTE injected terrorists in to Syria, they helped them. They closed all the diplomatic doors. They tried to provoke war in every opportunity. Their main goal to spread islamofasist dictatorships to the middle east, that is why they disappointed in Egypt. That is why they are very close to the other dictatorships Saudi, Qatar, etc.
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