China ‘backing Turkey’s Olympic and EXPO bids’

China ‘backing Turkey’s Olympic and EXPO bids’

SHANGHAI - Hürriyet Daily News
China ‘backing Turkey’s Olympic and EXPO bids’

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal kıçdaroğlu is seen in a plane during his visit to China Commercial Aircraft Corp. DHA photo

Chinese officials promised to support Turkey’s bid to host the Olympic Games and the EXPO, the leader of the main opposition has said, adding that Turkey will continue to seek backing from the countries they will be in contact with. Turkey faces competition from several countries for both events, which are scheduled to take place in 2020.

“We have asked their support for the Olympic games and the EXPO. They have told us that they will support Turkey,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), said at a meeting with a small group of journalists travelling with him in China. Kılıçdaroğlu made his remarks during the Huangpu River cruise late Jan. 17 following his day-long meetings in China’s economic capital of Shanghai.

Turkey pressed ahead in its bid to host the Olympic Games and increase its diplomatic campaign before the final decision will be given in six months time. At the same time, the government is also pushing for İzmir to obtain the EXPO fair in 2020 after a failed attempt for the 2015 bid. For Kılıçdaroğlu, the CHP’s support to this end should be seen and respected by the government.

“We are in China and we are looking for ways to improve relations between the two countries. Instead of appreciating this, Mr. Prime Minister is still continuing his tough criticism of us,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Reiterating his calls for more civility in political manners and rhetoric, Kılıçdaroğlu said they fulfilled their responsibility but did not receive adequate responses from the government.

Although he complained about the political manners and harsh daily quarrels between the political leaders, Kılıçdaroğlu also did not want to leave any of Erdoğan’s statements unanswered despite being thousands of miles away in China.

On the issue of arrested journalists, which frequently brings the two parties face to face, Erdoğan called on Kılıçdaroğlu to ask his Chinese counterparts how many journalists are arrested in their country, in a reference to the opposition’s description of Turkey as a champion against the free press.
“I will respond to him with a joke. When asked whether his country was still ranked as the leading state against journalism, a Chinese university student answered, ‘Yes, but until Erdoğan is elected the prime minister of Turkey,’” Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that he never thought to ask such a question to his Chinese counterparts as his intention was not to intervene in his host country’s internal affairs.