CHP leader criticizes gov’t over death of two soldiers
The main opposition leader has slammed the government after two soldiers died of hypothermia while keeping the night guard in the eastern Anatolian province, demanding a full-scale probe into the incident.
“Why are two of our troops martyred in the 21st century? Someone has to pay for it. Am I wrong? I am defending the rights of the parents of our martyrs,” Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kılıçdaroğlu said to his party in Parliament on Oct. 30.
The Tunceli governor has launched an investigation into the incident while opposition parties have harshly criticized the government for not providing the necessary logistics, including winter proof camouflage smocks for privates.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and senior government officials lashed out at Kılıçdaroğlu over his remarks on the death of the soldiers and accused him of trying to make political gains out of this incident.
“We are in October 2018 and our troops die of hypothermia. It is again me who is accused even though I speak out for the rights of these martyrs. This makes me very upset. You should have said ‘Yes, Kılıçdaroğlu, you are right. I will investigate this incident to the fullest.’ But you chose to attack me,” the CHP leader said, referring to Erdoğan’s statements earlier in the day.
Erdoğan recalled that his grandfather froze to death during World War I and that martyrdom can be reached by a bullet shot or by freezing.
“The camouflage, the sleeping bags, the food, the boots and all the equipment our troops are using are the most modern materials. What are you talking about without knowing anything? Why are you trying to deceive people for your political gains?” Erdoğan said, targeting Kılıçdaroğlu.
“You have no right to deprecate this country. But you have no sense of martyrdom,” Erdoğan said, vowing that the upcoming local elections would be the end of Kılıçdaroğlu rule as the head of the social democrat party.
After the pictures of the frozen soldiers were distributed on social media, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu held a press conference on Oct. 30 to explain how the incident took place.
Soylu said the regional military outpost wanted to send a helicopter to the area to collect these two soldiers after weather conditions worsened but they could not land due to sudden snow. He also said the uniforms worn by the soldiers were made to protect them in up to minus 40 degrees Celsius and that the probe is still ongoing.