Main opposition leader Kılıçdaroğlu may visit Iraq with ‘non-AKP’ businessmen

Main opposition leader Kılıçdaroğlu may visit Iraq with ‘non-AKP’ businessmen

LONDON - Hürriyet Daily News
Main opposition leader Kılıçdaroğlu may visit Iraq with ‘non-AKP’ businessmen

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Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), has said he may visit Iraq with businessmen free of connections to the ruling party, in the latest sign that a rift is deepening between Baghdad and Ankara.

“We wish to visit Egypt and Iraq. An official from [Iraqi Prime Minister] Nouri al-Maliki’s party, in fact, the head of foreign relations, has invited us. We have answered him that we would surely visit, not only Baghdad, but also Arbil and Kirkuk,” the CHP leader told the Hürriyet Daily News in an interview.

They said no problem. They tell us to visit with businessmen, but they do not want those businessmen from the AKP [ruling Justice and Development Party]. They are inviting those businessmen who are able to do business in all of Iraq. We are reviewing the invitation,” he added.

Kılıçdaroğlu also said that as the CHP, they wanted to open an office in Washington. “We are looking into U.S. law. Our Brussels office is working functionally despite its huge economic burden on us. We are one phone call away from EU Commissioner Stefan Füle,” he said.

PKK entrance protested

Meanwhile, Turkey’s London embassy protested the entrance of a group of outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) sympathizers into the Parliament building and to the room where a panel was to be held to sabotage Kılıçdaroğlu’s program at the House Commons.

A group of eight people, at the beginning of the panel where about 120 people attended, took off their sweaters and made a show with T-shirts with imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan’s pictures printed on them.

The group did not chant slogans and were not involved in any action but quietly left the panel room.

Criticizing the fact that demonstrators were able to enter the hall where the panel was held, Ambassador Ünal Çeviköz said: “It was a scheduled meeting and it was known who the participants would be. Consequently, more effective security measures should have been taken.”

Çeviköz also said he would protest the incident by sending a letter to the Office of the Speaker of the Parliament and the leaders of the Labour Party.

CHP deputy chair Faruk Loğoğlu said that since the CHP was a political party, it was correct for the ambassador to have yesterday’s incidents recorded.

On the last day of his London visit, Kılıçdaroğlu first attended a round-table meeting before joining a panel at the House of Commons.