CHP head Kılıçdaroğlu slams Erdoğan over Europe comments
AA photoMain opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has blasted President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent harsh rhetoric against Europe, stressing the sensitivity of foreign policy and diplomacy.
“Does he want to say effectively ‘I’m responsible for al-Qaeda? I’m responsible for [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] ISIL?” Kılıçdaroğlu said at an event with provincial heads on March 24.
His comments came after Erdoğan criticized European countries for “discriminating against Turkey” following the recent row over Turkish ministers’ meetings in Germany and the Netherlands.
“Turkey is not a country to be pushed around … If you keep up with this attitude, tomorrow no European or Western people will be able to walk in the streets with peace and safety in any place in the world,” the president said on March 22.
Kılıçdaroğlu slammed Erdoğan for his belligerent foreign policy, saying it cause unnecessary tension.
“Look at [relations with] Russia, Iran. We are fighting. Look at our neighbor Bulgaria, which has recalled its ambassador to Turkey,” he said.
“I am sure the citizens who have voted for the [ruling Justice and Development Party] AKP or the Nationalist Movement Party [MHP] are also disturbed by this as much as I am. Why are we fighting with the world? Why we are using such discourse?” Kılıçdaroğlu added.
“Those who cannot even manage their language cannot administer the state,” he said.
Four articles of the constitution
The polemic comes as campaigning for the referendum on shifting Turkey to an executive presidential system heats up.
Criticizing the AKP’s stance, Kılıçdaroğlu said the government-supported constitutional amendment aims to alter the first four articles of the constitution, including an article citing Ankara as the capital of Turkey.
“An AKP deputy said in parliament: ‘We will pass the amendment and then alter the first four articles of the constitution,” he said, referring to articles stating the essential and unchangeable tenets of the republic, which are left unaltered by the AKP’s charter amendment.
“One of the article states Ankara as the capital,” he added, suggesting that the ruling party aims to change Turkey’s capital.
“Who will answer that question? I think it is [MHP leader] Devlet Bahçeli who should give an answer. I am aware of the loyalty of this country’s patriots; I have no concern about that,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.