CHP leader demands Turkey, Russia de-escalate tension

CHP leader demands Turkey, Russia de-escalate tension

CHP leader demands Turkey, Russia de-escalate tension

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Turkey’s main opposition leader has called on the leaders of both Turkey and Russia to defuse tensions after the downing of a Russian jetfighter by a Turkish F-16 on Nov. 24.

“No country should violate Turkey’s border and territorial integrity. Everyone should be careful about it. We have relations rooted in history with Russia. As we invite our leaders to common sense, we do the same to Russia’s leaders as well. Relationships cannot be managed with anger and rage,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), said before a party assembly meeting on Nov 25. 

“Fighting will hurt both countries. None of Turkey, Russia or this region can tolerate a war.  To the contrary, all countries should go hand in hand to resolve the problem in Syria. The region and the world will be relieved if this problem can be resolved,” he said. 

Kılıçdaroğlu said it was Turkey’s right to defend its borders and not permit the violation of its territorial integrity but at the same time reiterated his criticisms regarding the government’s Syria policy. 

“If you hit the road with the understanding ‘I know everything, I am the man at the center of the world,’ then you will become the whipping boy of the Middle East. I want to underline one point: My biggest concern is whether Turkmens will be able to sit at the table along with the PYD [Democratic Union Party] in efforts to resolve the Syrian issue,” he said. 

Blaming the government’s unplanned, narrow-minded and sectarian policies for the current situation in Syria, Kılıçdaroğlu said. “Who is the main person responsible for this picture? Who is the one dragging Turkey into the Middle East swamp? Who are the ones importing ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] terror into Turkey?”