CHP leader slams PM over unrealized Gaza visit

CHP leader slams PM over unrealized Gaza visit

CHP leader slams PM over unrealized Gaza visit

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu speaks during his party's parliamentary group meeting, July 15. AA Photo

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has targeted Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over the latter’s failure to carry his planned trip to the Gaza Strip, despite announcing the visit in March 2013.

“April arrives, but no action,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on July 15, recalling that Erdoğan announced on March 23, 2013 that he would visit Gaza in April.

“Afterwards, he made a statement on April 14, 2013: ‘The exact date is set. I’ll go to Gaza around late May,’” he added, speaking at a meeting of his parliamentary group.

The CHP leader then recalled how U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on April 21, 2013 had urged Erdoğan to delay his visit to Gaza in order to avoid disrupting efforts to revive the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

“We have expressed to the prime minister [Erdoğan] that we really think that it would better be delayed and that it shouldn’t take place at this point in time,” Kerry said at a news conference at the time. Describing Kerry’s remarks as “inappropriate,” Erdoğan later vowed to travel to Gaza in June 2013.

CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu said Erdoğan had “spun a yarn.” “Now it’s July 15, 2014. He didn’t go to Gaza in April, May or June. He just spun a yarn. Now, this [man] comes and says: ‘I will be the president of the Republic of Turkey.’ You can’t even go to Gaza yet, you can’t travel to the Middle East, and you’re coming up to become the president of the grand Republic of Turkey,” he said.