Turkish government under fire from opposition for border blast
Turkey's main opposition party CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. AA photo
Turkey’s main opposition party blamed the government for a deadly blast at the Cilvegözü border gate near Syria while also noting how an increase in prices over the past year has hurt many people.
“I call on the one who declared the person he once called ‘brother’ as his first enemy in six months. If a bomb exploded there, responsibility for it is on your shoulders,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), said on Feb. 12 in an address to his deputies at Parliament.
This should not turn into [something similar to] the jet incident, where we learned [information] from others,” said Kılıçdaroğlu, referring to the downing of a Turkish jet by Syrian forces over the Mediterranean on June 22, 2012.
He also referred to media reports that claimed the border gate in Cilvegözü had been closed, inquiring as to how the car used in the explosion managed to approach a closed border post. “Will you explain this explosion worthily in accordance with the Turkish Republic’s honor?”
The CHP requested to see camera footage relating to the blast at the Cilvegözü border gate, but were refused for as the footage was deemed confidential, Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that the ministers were able to see the images.
Foreign news agencies had reported people were producing bombs in Hatay, he said when asking the government to clarify the bomb incident.
Syria has become a source of instability for Turkey and contradicting statements from Syrian opposition groups are displaying a vicious circle, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli said yesterday while addressing his deputies. Bahçeli devoted a considerable part of his speech to the Syria issue.
The priority is to preserve territorial integrity of Syria and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) should not base its entire policy on toppling al-Assad by following U.S. policies, he said.
“It is seen that our borders have turned into a powder keg and fireball,” Bahçeli said, underlining the probable destructive results of the conflict in Syria over Turkey.
“The security along our border has been seriously damaged. As the bloody conflict between al-Assad’s administration and the opposition extends the current picture becomes more complicated each day. Our citizens in border regions are now [living] in fear and [with] deep concerns.”
The blast was a result of Turkey’s failure in its Syrian policies, Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) leader Selahattin Demirtaş said at his parliamentary group meeting. He suggested that “gangs were trained by Turkey and sent to Syria.”
Turkey is not opposed to violence but to Kurds. The reason is Kurdishphobia,” he said.