CHP leader to visit China in early 2013
ANKARAKemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) will pay a week-long visit to China in January as his first trip abroad in the New Year. The visit is planned to take place between Jan. 12 and 18 with the CHP delegation holding talks with Chinese officials in Beijing and Shanghai.
The visit to China will likely be followed by a trip to Egypt in the coming months upon the invitation of President Mohamed Morsi. There are also plans to visit Iraq and the Gaza Strip, although none have been finalized yet. Kılıçdaroğlu said he could also visit the United States in the case of an invitation from the American administration. “Our image abroad was weak. Now we are trying to strengthen this,” the CHP chief said when asked about the reasons behind foreign countries’ growing interest in the CHP during a meeting with the press yesterday. “We have turned a new page [as the CHP]. We are the party supporting freedoms, democracy and justice and the CHP’s new discourse receives attention in foreign countries,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, recalling that the CHP was one of the oldest political parties in the world and was therefore well-known by other political parties.
Kılıçdaroğlu underlined that there are growing criticisms toward the government with regard to its attempts to undermine the democratic standards of Turkey. “The EU’s Progress Report is full of criticisms but only an AKP official can dare to throw it to the [trash] bin. However, we are carefully listening to these criticisms and the contemporary world is paying attention to this fact,” he said.
Continuing his strong-worded criticisms against Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Kılıçdaroğlu said the foreign policy was the field in which the ruling party has performed the worst. “Turkey lost all of its weight in the region. All our gains throughout the years have gone to waste in 2012,” he said, adding that bilateral relations with Iran, Russia, Iraq and other regional countries hit their all time lows under Davutoğlu’s diplomacy.
“The foreign minister should certainly leave his seat. He took offense when I called him “narrow-minded.” In fact I was saying the least [critical thing]. We were so-called playmaker but now we have turned to be the play itself.”