Kılıçdaroğlu urges PM to quit over raid
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
The PM has confessed that he was unaware of the strike, says Kılıçdaroğlu. DAILY NEWS photoPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan must resign over last year’s mistaken air raid in Southeast Anatolia as he has “confessed” that he was unaware that the attack was actually a Turkish cross-border operation into northern Iraq, the main opposition leader said yesterday.
Erdoğan’s latest remarks on the raid near the border town of Uludere amounts to a “very grave confession” and demonstrates that the government had unlawfully delegated its parliamentary authorization for cross-border action against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to the military, Republican People’s Party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said.
“Thirty-four people are massacred and the prime minister is informed only afterwards. A prime minister who makes such a confession must not stay at his post another hour.,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Kılıçdaroğlu said Parliament had given the authorization for cross-border operations to the government. “One cannot hand it over,” Kılıçdaroğlu said yesterday at the CHP’s parliamentary group meeting. “Who gave the order for the bombing? He [Erdoğan] says he was not aware. You may not be aware but you are accountable. If not, you must apologize and admit that you are only watching by as some people are doing things,” he said.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is under pressure to reveal who gave the go-ahead for the strike and how the military concluded that the group moving along the border were PKK militants.
“The government must give the answers and not the General Staff. Is the General Staff the press office of the AKP?” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Referring to a Wall Street Journal story that said intelligence supplied by a U.S. Predator drone was also involved in the operation, the CHP leader said the government was compromising national security by “making the country’s intelligence dependent on foreign intelligence.”
Political squabbles over the botched air raid in the southeastern province of Şırnak’s Uludere district on Dec. 28, 2011, were rekindled by a Wall Street Journal report which claimed footage from a U.S.
Predator drone was also made available to the military ahead of the strike, which was intended to strike PKK militants but resulted instead in the deaths of 34 smugglers transporting small goods from northern Iraq.
The authorities have yet to explain who gave the go-ahead for the strike and how the military concluded that the group moving along the border was in fact a group of PKK militants.