CHP blames flawed foreign policy of gov’t for leading to terrorist threats
DHA photoThe Republican People’s Party (CHP) has pointed the finger at the incumbent Justice and Development Party (AKP) government for its myopic foreign policy that has ultimately put Turkey in the midst of terrorist threats spread by various radical groups, making it a “new Peshawar.”
“We have constantly noted the failures in Turkey’s foreign policy choices in the face of the civil war in Syria,” CHP Deputy Chair Haluk Koç said at a press conference on July 21, a day after dozens of people were massacred in a devastating suicide bombing on the border with Syria, which was blamed on militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
In remarks delivered after a meeting of the CHP’s Central Executive Board (MYK), chaired by party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Koç said the party has, in the meantime, offered alternative policies while publicly elaborating on the risks of the government’s policies.
“Turkey has looked on [as it has become a] new Peshawar as radical groups have been encouraged and are running wild. Now, we are passing through days which prove the saying ‘Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind’ correct,” he said.
“It is open that Turkey’s approach to these conflicts, which started on a sectarian basis and afterwards adopted an ethnic dimension too, has been far from being constructive and has made this process very dangerous,” Koç said.
The blast on July 20 tore through a group of university students from the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations as they gathered in the border town of Suruç in Şanlıurfa province ahead of a planned trip to help rebuild the nearby Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane.
Also on July 21, during a trip to Şanlıurfa where he visited people wounded in the attack, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu rejected accusations Turkey had in the past tacitly supported ISIL militants operating from Syria and unwittingly opened the door to the suicide bombing that killed at least 32 people.
“Today’s manner of Turkey which is based on obsessions and ‘retro dreams’ has unfortunately led to Turkey’s being contaminated with terror by radical groups,” Koç said, in a tacit reference to widespread criticism of the AKP government’s foreign policy.
Critics argue that the government’s Syria policy resonates with its neo-Ottoman ambitions to see Turkey as a key player and tutor in the region.
“The conscious elimination of border security, along with logistical support to these groups has turned Turkey into a target for these groups,” Koç said, noting how the government has boasted about hosting Syrian opposition groups.
Call for national mourning
Koç, who also acts as the party spokesperson, also urged the government to declare national mourning over the loss of dozens of people.
“If we have previously declared mourning for the king of any old [country], mourning at a national level certainly needs to be declared to commemorate the 32 young people who we lost [in Suruç],” Koç said. “It is the government that will take this decision and it needs to take it without delay.”
The absence of official national mourning led to fury among many Turkish citizens. As Koç implied, back in January the government declared a one-day national mourning for Saudi Arabia’s former king, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.