CHP leader slams PM over Syria policy letter

CHP leader slams PM over Syria policy letter

CAPE TOWN - Hürriyet Daily News
CHP leader slams PM over Syria policy letter

Kılıçdaroğlu shakes hands with CHP supporters before boarding a plane en route from Ankara to Cape Town, South Africa, to attend a Socialist International congress. DHA photo

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has slammed Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for the latter’s rejection of his proposal to hold an international conference with representatives from both the Syrian opposition and the al-Assad administration. He has also strongly criticized the Turkish government’s policy on hosting Syrian army defectors in Hatay.

The CHP leader sent a letter to Erdoğan on Aug. 27 revealing his party’s eight-point plan for solving the Syrian conflict, including an international conference to reconcile the Syrian opposition with the Syrian government. Replying to Kılıçdaroğlu’s letter, Erdoğan called on the opposition to support “ethical principles in foreign policy,” which Kılıçdaroğlu described as “bewildering.”

Erdoğan’s language in the letter was also “rude and ill-bred,” Kılıçdaroğlu said late on Aug. 28, while speaking to a group of journalists on board a plane en route from Ankara to Cape Town, South Africa to attend a Socialist International (SI) congress. Kılıçdaroğlu officially applied to run for the vice chairmanship of the Socialist International last month.

“He did not agree with our proposals, but he does not propose anything himself. Why doesn’t he bring any proposals? Because he doesn’t have an original policy on Syria. He pursues [foreign] policy in line with the interests of the Western powers. That’s why I called him sub-contractor,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

“The prime minister says Turkey will maintain its stance over Syria. I hope this will not lead Turkey into a swamp.”

Kılıçdaroğlu also said that housing and training armed Syrian opposition members was against the Turkish Constitution and was a crime that should be tried in the Supreme Court, referring to the controversy surrounding the Apaydın camp in the southern province of Hatay. The camp is known to house military personnel who have defected from the Syrian army to join the opposition.

“If Turkey is a state of law, all decisions should be lawful. Some armed men are being trained within Turkey to attack another country, who can consider this lawful? If the principle of the state of law becomes controversial, Turkey’s reputation would be overshadowed,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

The CHP leader also said his party was waiting for Parliament’s legislative year to begin, implying that it would bring the issue to the parliamentary agenda. Recalling that Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu admitted that defected Syrian soldiers were staying in the Apaydın Camp, Kılıçdaroğlu said there had been no parliamentary decision to host these armed soldiers. This is despite the fact that for foreign soldiers to be deployed in Turkey, permission must be given by the Turkish Parliament.