Duel over ties with Israel
ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
AA photoThe main opposition’s chief has fired a new salvo in a verbal battle between himself and the prime minister over Israel, saying the latter had agreed to host a NATO missile defense program that was functioning merely as an “Israel Shield.”
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s public image of fighting Israel is a hoax, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told Anatolia news agency.
“Although he seems like he is against Israel, Erdoğan behind the curtain has ordered the establishment of the radar missile to protect Israel. He shall not deceive the public,” said the CHP leader.
“The prime minister himself is the reason for this radar to be based in Turkey. He should first be held accountable for this,” he said.
The early-warning NATO radar system, which is based at a military installation at Kürecik in the eastern province of Malatya, went online at the beginning of the year and is widely believed to be aimed at preventing missiles from Iran. Due to cooperation between some NATO members and Israel, many have suspected that the radar system will effectively defend Israel as well, even though it is not an alliance member.
Kılıçdaroğlu also criticized the government’s policy on Syria. “Turkey could have taken major steps in the democratization of Syria, but instead, it has become the spokesperson for the Western powers,” he said. “Turkey could have stood by Syria and contributed to the preparation of new laws for democracy and freedom. [If it had], Syria would no be in its current situation.”
The CHP leader also said the Syrian people’s demands for freedom and democracy should be met. “Oppressive regimes cannot last in the 21st century, societies demand a regime based on democracy, human rights and gender equality,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that Syria must become a country free of oppression.