Main opposition leader slams gov’t for not retaliating over diplomatic crisis with Netherlands

Main opposition leader slams gov’t for not retaliating over diplomatic crisis with Netherlands

Main opposition leader slams gov’t for not retaliating over diplomatic crisis with Netherlands

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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has slammed the government for not retaliating against the Netherlands after a Turkish minister was expelled from the country, criticizing the ruling party for attempting to gain votes for an April 16 referendum on constitutional amendments. 

“If you are to do something, do it. Our [Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu] went to the Netherlands, but the Dutch government withdrew permission for his plane to land in the country. It hurts our pride,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in Ankara on March 13.

“They said they would respond with strong countermeasures. How? They say ‘wait until April 16.’ Why? The ruling party is in, the opposition is providing support. We will provide support until the end. Why don’t you do it then? Suspend all relations with the Netherlands,” he said, vowing to support the government in any retaliation. 

Recalling Germany’s ban on Turkey’s ministerial speeches in Germany, Kılıçdaroğlu also criticized the government’s comments on diplomatic relations with Germany. 

“You just talk,” he said referring to the Turkish government. 

“They said, ‘Germany will pay the price.’ How? There are German soldiers at İncirlik Air Base. Did you remove them? No. You just talk. This nation is fed up with talk. Go and do whatever you are going to do. We will give you all kinds of support,” he said. 

“You will see after April 16, they will hurt Turkey’s reputation. It is not right,” he added.  

“Didn’t Israel kill [10] of our citizens? They did. Didn’t they ban the call to prayer? They [the government] said, ‘We will not reconcile with Israel if the blockade is not lifted.’ What has happened? Has the blockade been lifted? No. How much was Turkey’s dignity sold for? 20 million dollars. They told us, ‘Take this 20 million dollar and shush.’ It offends me,” he said. 

Turkish politics needs conciliation 

Kılıçdaroğlu also stated that one of the main problems in Turkish politics is the lack of a spirit of conciliation, adding that the problems stemming from coalition governments, which the AKP frequently cites as a reason to implement a super presidency, will not be solved by the charter amendment. 

“This constitutional amendment won’t solve the problem of coalition governments. It has nothing to do with that. A sole party has been ruling for 15 years. There have not been any coalition governments. And this amendment has not been proposed to end coalitions,” he said. 

“The main deficiency of this system is a political ethics law. Politicians have to be ethical. The politicians have to stay away from corruption, they have to give accounts,” he added. 

“The current system has deficiencies that have to be fixed. We can fix them by getting together. I promise that,” he said.