Opposition calls parliament for urgent meeting after Idlib attack
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
The two opposition parties have called on the Parliament for an urgent closed session on January 29 b after the Syrian regime killed 33 Turkish troops in an offensive in the Idlib province of Syria late February 27.
A petition for the extraordinary meeting at the Parliament was submitted to the Office of the Speaker by the Republican People’s Party (CHP) on February 28.
The Good Party has also called on the government for immediately convening the Parliament at a closed session.
“We want that the Parliament meets to discuss the developments in Idlib,” deputy parliamentary group leaders of the CHP, Özgür Özel, told reporters after he submitted the CHP’s appeal to the Parliament Speaker’s Office.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu held a phone conversation with Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop first immediately after the news broke on the Syrian attack and secondly in the early hours of February 28.
The CHP held an immediate meeting late February 27 with the participation of the senior officials and re-convened on February 28.
The Good Party leader Meral Akşener held a phone conversation with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and demanded a meeting at the Parliament where the situation in Idlib would be discussed with the participation of all lawmakers.
Ruling party proposes a closed session
Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AKP) will propose a closed parliamentary session on Syria on March 3, said the party's group chair.
"We will propose a closed session in which the national defense minister briefs parliament," Naci Bostancı told reporters in parliament on Feb. 28.
Bostancı said that there was no reason to hold an immediate session in the parliament.
Parties extended condolences
Turkish political parties on Feb. 28 extended condolences to the nation over loss of lives of Turkish soldiers in an airstrike by the Bashar al-Assad regime forces in Idlib, northwestern Syria.
The “murderer regime” in Syria and those who encourage it will pay the heaviest price for their treachery, Turkey's ruling party spokesman said.
In a post on Twitter, Ömer Çelik, spokesman for the Justice and Development Party (AKP), extended his condolences to the families of the Turkish soldiers who were killed in Idlib.
Çelik wished a quick recovery to the injured.
He underlined that the heinous attack will meet with a response it deserves.
Çelik said Turkey is determined to continue its struggle in line with international law to achieve its targets.
When asked Turkey's next diplomatic steps, Çelik said a consultation process with the NATO military alliance would start on Feb. 28.
"It must not be forgotten that the Turkish Armed Forces protect both Turkey's national security and the southern border of NATO. An attack directed towards Turkey means an attack on NATO," he said.
Also speaking on Turkish television, Çelik said Turkey's refugee policy has not changed, but Turkey will no longer be able to contain the refugees.
"I wish Allah's mercy to martyred soldiers and extend my condolences to their families and our nation. Allah bless our soldiers," Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), said on Twitter.
CHP's deputy chair Özgür Özel will submit a motion to parliament leadership to call for an emergency session on Feb. 29 in order to assess the developments in Idlib.
Meral Akşener, the head of the opposition İYİ (Good) Party, also turned to Twitter to extend her condolences.
"I wish Allah's mercy to our heroes who became martyrs for the motherland," Akşener said.
According to a statement by the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the party's leader Devlet Bahçeli and other senior members follow the latest developments in Idlib from the party's headquarters.
In a statement, Devlet Bahçeli said the deepening crisis in Idlib has become a threat to Turkey's national security at the highest level.
“Murderer Bashar al-Assad has officially settled in the enemy camp and become the only perpetrator of hate and violence with his massacres and disgrace,” Bahçeli said.
He said the MHP thinks all military intervention decisions by Turkey are sound and legitimate.
Bahçeli stressed that ground and air operations should be carried out rapidly in Idlib.
Highlighting Turkey's membership in NATO, he said the attacks were not only carried out on Turkey but also on all NATO members due to the alliance's understanding.
According to NATO's Article 5, an attack on one member of NATO is an attack on all of its members.
He said the process will be a test of sincerity and good faith for all NATO members.
Turkish Cypriots extend condolences to Turkey
Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı offered his condolences to Turkey over the loss of Turkish soldiers in an airstrike by Assad regime forces in Syria's Idlib province.
“The bitter news from Idlib shook us all deeply, there is information that 33 young soldiers have been martyred so far,” said Akıncı.
I share this great pain of the country on behalf of myself and the Turkish Cypriot people, I wish God's mercy to those who lost their lives, condolences and patience to their grieving families and loved ones, he said.
Turkish Cyprus Prime Minister Ersin Tatar said on Twitter he is very sorry over the loss of the lives of the soldiers, who were in Idlib to stop terrorism.
"No matter who engages in treacherous acts, they cannot deprive the security and sovereignty of the Turkish nation. Eventually, they will be disappointed," he said.
Turkish Cyprus Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay said on Facebook that he shares the Turkish nation's sorrow.
"I wish Allah's mercy on the martyrs and a quick recovery to the injured," he said.