ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
CHP Leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
met with the leaders of Parliament’s three opposition parties yesterday to discuss the June 22 downing of a Turkish warplane off of Syria in a rarely seen instance of cross-party dialogue.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu
described Syria’s assault as “intolerable” and suggested that Turkey should use its rights deriving from international law in an absolute manner, but added that Erdoğan did not give any fresh information on the attack or share his road map over the issue. “Turkey is not a country that anybody could easily test [its patience] through these kinds of attacks. Nobody should dare test Turkey’s deterrence and strength. Turkish foreign policy, at the same time, should not pursue a line that would lead to such incidents,” Kılıçdaroğlu said at a press conference after his meeting with Erdoğan.
Erdoğan held the talks with opposition leaders yesterday after meeting with other government officials in the wake of the incident. Erdoğan was accompanied by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu
and Deputy Chief of the General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar during meetings that took place at the prime minister’s official residence. After a one-hour long meeting, Kılıçdaroğlu said Syria shot down the jet deliberately in an “unacceptable act.”
“This assault is probably retaliation against the [Turkish] government’s policy on Syria. The aim of Syria’s attack is conceivably to spread the impression, especially among Syrian dissidents, that Erdoğan’s discourse against Syria such as ‘The knife has cut through to the bone’ was nothing but a bluff,” he said. Tacitly addressing the international community, Kılıçdaroğlu said Turkey was left alone by “so-called friends” after the attack. “Those who bring the two fellow nations to the brink of war should understand that they are playing with fire. Turkey was left alone by so-called friends who encourage and provoke Turkey to overthrow the Syrian administration,” he said. “Our plane was downed just [on June 22]. … Why are we interfering in Syria’s internal affairs? Why have we come to the brink of war with Syria? We have to question these issues everywhere.” Kılıçdaroğlu said they were against war with any neighbor.