CHP urges government to take tighter intelligence measures against terror suspects
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has urged Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to enforce stricter intelligence measures in order to counter terrorism, arguing that radical groups in Syria and Iraq are planning further attacks.
“There are intelligence reports that various cells have been established in Turkey and are preparing attacks,” CHP Deputy Group Chair Öztürk Yılmaz said on Oct. 30 at a press conference in Ankara.
Yılmaz warned that potential terrorists have changed their names and are using certain religious places to conceal their activities.
“Jihadist and radical terror groups may want to carry out further symbolic attacks in Turkey. The government must have strong intelligence in this area. We believe the government should take strict, extensive and results-focused measures against these groups in order to end their existence,” he said.
He also urged the government to adopt a more “careful approach, especially with regard to border security and security checks and visa services in airports.”
Yılmaz argued that the fall of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) long-held capital Raqqa to the U.S.-led Syrian Democratic Forces means that the dispersed group may now divert its energies towards attacking Turkey.
“These murdering terrorists’ territorial claims in Iraq and Syria are coming to an end. It is possible that the group might seek refuge in Turkey and continue their existence by planning terrorist acts on Turkish soil,” the CHP deputy group chair said.
“Symbolic acts could unsettle Turkey in particular. They could raise questions about the root causes of these acts. We know that some intelligence groups use these organizations as a subcontractor,” he added.
Speaking in reference to radical groups operating in Yemen, Afghanistan, Sinai Peninsula and Libya, he also said that the remains of ISIL could use Turkey as a temporary holding zone, adding that Turkey “should not allow terrorists to use the country as a refuge.”
Criticizing the government’s foreign policy of recent years, Yılmaz said the ruling AKP does not have a “comprehensive strategy” regarding ISIL, al-Nusra and other extremist groups.
“The government’s foreign policy currently amounts to just arguing with the whole world. This already causes confusion over who is responsible for any given action and these terror groups could take advantage of this political environment to launch attacks,” he added.