Turkey wants no war, CHP chairman affirms
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Addressing the members of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) at his party’s 34th ordinary parley, Chairman Kılıçdaroğlu says his party ‘cannot accept subcontracting of Western hegemonic powers in the crisis-stricken Middle East.’
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said once again at his party’s congress that they are against a war with Syria, while thousands of supporters welcomed his remarks with applause.
“We cannot accept subcontracting of Western hegemonic powers in the Middle East. Hegemonic powers do not touch the fire with their hands, they use a fire iron. You [the government] should not be the subcontractor. Don’t bow down or stand still. Don’t be scared, this is Mustafa Kemal’s country. He said ‘Peace at home, peace in the world.’ That is what our people want to hear,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Unrest-hit Syria has been a hot topic in Turkey’s internal politics as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Kılıçdaroğlu often appeared to be at swords’ points on the issue. Tension seemed to escalate particularly after a Turkish jet was downed off the coast of Syria on June 22.
Erdoğan has accused Kılıçdaroğlu of assuming advocacy of the al-Assad regime and pursuing an “anti-national” policy numerous times. Kılıçdaroğlu often responded to Erdoğan harshly for his criticisms and blamed him for being the subcontractor of Western countries, mainly of the U.S.
Kılıçdaroğlu continued his harsh criticism of the government’s foreign policy yesterday at the CHP’s 34th ordinary congress.
They still don’t know in detail how the Turkish jet was downed over the Mediterranean, Kılıçdaroğlu said. “I’m wondering if Turkey is an esteemed state, or a tribal state? How come a government does not have information about how its jet was downed?”
Kılıçdaroğlu said their objection to a foreign intervention in Syria did not mean supporting the al-Assad administration.
“We have always been against the massacres in Syria. We condemn the massacres and we will continue to do so. We don’t want any people to have even a nosebleed whether in Syria or in any other country in the world,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that they would lend their support to the decisions derived from international law.
“Of course we demand peace and freedom for Syria. We would support decisions derived from international law. We would lend our support to the [prospective] decisions of the United Nations Security Council. We do not want war in our region,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
They had long ago called on the government to hold an international conference in Turkey with the attendance of Russia, Iran, China and the U.S. as well as the Syrian opposition and Syrian administration, Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that the government had spurned their proposal. “One year after our proposal, Russia has made the same call.”
Kılıçdaroğlu also criticized the government over a recent military cooperation agreement with Sudan. Earlier this month, Parliament approved a military cooperation agreement with Omar al-Bashir’s Sudan despite opposition criticism. Al-Bashir took power in Sudan with a military coup and has been accepted as the number one offender in the Darfur disaster by the War Crimes Tribunal since 2009. He is considered responsible for the deaths of 200,000 people and for the displacement of 3 million people.
“Double standards in foreign policy are unacceptable. They [the government] beat war drums saying that there are massacres in Syria, at the same time they warmly welcomed [Sudanese President] al-Bashir. This is unacceptable. Turkey has nothing to do with murderers. How come they can invite a murderer who was convicted by international courts to Turkey?” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
The CHP leader also criticized Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who had reportedly indicated that Russia should be isolated because of its foreign policy on Syria.
Turkey buys 60 percent of its natural gas from Russia, Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that to even mention isolating Syria was ridiculous.
Kılıçdaroğlu expresses will to ease Kurdish woe
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has reiterated his party’s determination to pursue its proposal for finding a solution to the Kurdish issue.
“You can call it the Kurdish question or the terrorism question. There’s a funeral, but no one is holding it. The CHP is determined to solve this question and bring peace to this country,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, speaking at his party’s congress.
The CHP’s 34th ordinary convention opened yesterday at Ankara’s Arena Sports Hall, with more than 1,200 delegates re-electing chairman, as Kılıçdaroğlu ran as the sole candidate for the post. The banners at the CHP congress were dominated by anti-war themes. “No to war,” “No to imperialism and sub-contracting,” the banners read.
Former CHP leader Deniz Baykal appeared at the congress before Kılıçdaroğlu arrived at the gathering, but former Secretary-General Önder Sav, who led the extraordinary congress in February and was defeated by Kılıçdaroğlu’s administration, arrived at the congress after Kılıçdaroğlu had delivered his speech. Sav appeared at the venue when a dissident lawmaker and his close aide İsa Gök came to the rostrum to criticize the party’s current administration, and was welcomed with applause by some party members.
Kılıçdaroğlu criticized the government’s policies in a wide range of fields, and also touched upon the transformation within his own party. The CHP leader once again slammed the government on the issue of judicial independence, saying that the government controls the judiciary. “The judiciary and justice have totally collapsed. If you appoint militant judges to the top courts, mistrust in justice and the judiciary will increase. The continuing detention of lawmakers is a defect in our democracy. There’s no democracy or justice in a country where writers, artists and academics are behind bars,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Attendees carry posters of revolutionaries
Some delegates carried photographs of seven leftist students who were killed in 1978 by far-right militants in an apparent gesture of protest against a recent court ruling releasing two convicts charged for these killings. Other delegates carried photographs of prominent deceased Turkish leftists Deniz Gezmiş, Yusuf Aslan and Hüseyin İnan. Earlier this year, seven suspects, including university students who were arrested on terrorism-related charges for involvement in demonstrations against Turkey’s 1980 coup, were also accused of carrying the photographs of Gezmiş, Aslan and İnan.