CHP slams gov’t over Syria policy

CHP slams gov’t over Syria policy

CHP slams gov’t over Syria policy

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on Dec. 23 slammed the government over Ankara’s foreign policy in Syria, saying civil war in the battle-weary country has been “increasingly damaging” Turkey’s foreign affairs, economy and social arena.

“Our soldiers and citizens are paying for the wrong Syria policies of the [government],” CHP spokesperson Faik Öztrak said.

Öztrak’s remarks came during a press conference after the Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting of the CHP, in the capital Ankara.

The policies that the government pursued in Syria have been “increasingly damaging” Turkey at the international, economic and societal levels, according to the CHP.

Regarding Turkey’s anti-terror “Operation Peace Spring” into Syria, Öztrak said that the operation did not yield any results it promised.

Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9 to eliminate terror groups from northern Syria to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.

Under two separate deals with the United States and Russia, Turkey paused the operation to allow the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the planned northern Syria safe zone.

Öztrak also slammed granting citizenship to Syrian asylum seekers who fled the war, saying such a decision should be made by “asking the nation.”

“Let them ask the nation if they are approving your ‘granting citizenships to Syrians’ decision, which you talked with the U.S. president behind closed doors,” he said.

Öztrak also voiced concern about the recent migration influx.

“Do [the citizens] want 80,000 people, ambiguous ones brought up by imperial powers, who came from Idlib, the fortress of radicals in our country?” he added.

“Do they want to give $40 million to Syrians, which will be cut down from their expenses on food? Who can say these questions have positive answers? Then, the [government] is after doing what some other people want, not the nation,” he said.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Dec. 22 that it could not handle a new influx and was urging Russia to stop the strikes in Idlib. He had previously said that Turkey has spent over $40 billion for the care of refugees and slammed the international community for refraining to provide support.

“If you have courage, set up the ballot box for a referendum, so that everything will be in the clear,” Öztrak said.