Main opposition CHP ready for a joint stance with gov’t against EP over genocide motion

Main opposition CHP ready for a joint stance with gov’t against EP over genocide motion

Main opposition CHP ready for a joint stance with gov’t against EP over genocide motion

AA Photo

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has announced his party’s readiness to engage in a joint effort with other parties to issue a joint statement against the European Parliament’s recognition of the 1915 massacre of Ottoman Armenians as genocide.

Speaking with reporters after meeting ambassadors of EU countries over lunch on April 16, Kılıçdaroğlu was reminded of an April 15 call by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who suggested that they could draft “a contract” together with opposition parties that would address the entire Turkish population. Davutoğlu’s call came as he announced his party’s 100-article “2023 New Turkey Contract,” along with his ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) election manifesto.

Kılıçdaroğlu strictly ruled out the idea, saying his party’s ideological view based on the principles of social democracy was totally different from the AKP’s ideology. However, he said the CHP could draft a joint text to counter the resolution passed by the European Parliament.

“We can sign this joint text. Our views on this issue are common, so there is no problem in this field. There are [problems] in other fields,” he added.

Earlier in the day, Kılıçdaroğlu criticized both Pope Francis and the European Parliament for recognizing mass killings of Ottoman Armenians as genocide, saying that such moves will not help the reconciliation between Turks and Armenians.

“The statements of Pope Francis and the adoption of a resolution calling on EU countries to recognize the Armenian genocide are unacceptable, as they constitute political moves that do not serve for the reconciliation of the two people,” he said.

‘A crusader lens’

According to Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, it was the government’s policy of rapprochement with Armenia that laid the ground for such “a dramatic result,” which he said was part of a “slandering campaign against the Turkish nation.”

“We don’t and will not have territory to give or apologies to offer to those who look at history through the crusader lens,” Bahçeli said in a written statement on April 16.

He also claimed that there is “actually no difference between the ruling AKP and the European Parliament’s interpretation of the events of 1915.”

‘Kindergarten or state?’

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş was the only opposition leader to display a different approach to the other political leaders.

The government should move to found a “truth and reconciliation commission” in order to face the past, Demirtaş said.

“The pope says something; they give a childish reaction. The European Parliament makes a decision; they give a childish reaction to this too. It is as if this is a kindergarten; it is as if they are not governing a state. They display reflexes like children attending kindergarten,” Demirtaş said on April 16, speaking to reporters in Diyarbakır.

“You should explain to society how the Armenian reality should be faced. This is an issue that is not discussed in Turkey. This is an issue that is not officially clarified. This problem cannot be resolved by simply saying ‘We don’t recognize the pope,’” he added.