Erdoğan slams opposition over Mosul hostage crisis

Erdoğan slams opposition over Mosul hostage crisis

Erdoğan slams opposition over Mosul hostage crisis

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan receives gifts from representatives of Central Asian countries during an event in Ankara, Aug. 6. AA Photo

Turkey’s prime minister has claimed the main opposition party is putting the lives of the 49 Turkish hostages in Mosul at risk through their provocative statements, in response to their criticism of the government’s stance on remaining silent over the issue.

“Why are they doing this? Let me explain why. They do it to put the lives of our 49 citizens who are kidnapped in Mosul in danger. Here is their patriotism, their love for their people. This is what they understand from diplomacy and foreign policy,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Aug. 6, during a gathering with Turkmens living abroad in Ankara.

Erdoğan’s statement came following criticism from Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, head of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), who claimed the government was not doing enough to free the 49 Turkish citizens who have been held hostage by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) since June 11.

Erdoğan said the CHP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) were trying to use foreign policy matters for domestic political reasons, stressing “It’s very dangerous to use [the issue] of Turkmens in Iraq and Syria for domestic politics and for elections. Because there are things we can say and we cannot say about our policies [toward Turkmens] Bahçeli knows this, and the man called Kılıçdaroğlu also knows about it.”

Erdoğan also slammed the opposition’s presidential candidate, Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, over his remarks where he described the situation as a “disaster,” despite being fully aware that some government assistance projects to Turkmens were done in coordination with some of the opposition parties.

The prime minister was also critical of the opposition parties for allying themselves with the “parallel state” who he believes was responsible for stopping the two National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks from carrying humanitarian aid to Turkmens in Syria.