Opposition hosts Socialist International

Opposition hosts Socialist International

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey’s Republican People’s Party (CHP) will host an Arab Spring special committee meeting of Socialist
International in Istanbul today and tomorrow.

“The government [the Justice and Development Party (AKP)] is meeting with the repressive and reactionary forces in the region. What are we doing? We are coming together with the progressive, socialdemocratic forces in the region. Tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are,” CHP Istanbul deputy Umut Oran said.

The Socialist International Special Committee on the Arab World will convene for the second time March 23-24 in Istanbul. The meeting will bring together leaders and representatives of the member parties and members of democratic and progressive movements from the region. The main theme of the discussions will be “At a turning point in the region: empowering progressive actors to secure the success of the transitions.”

“We are concerned by the developments in Syria, Iran, Iraq and the whole region. A war that is based on ethnic or religious reasons could also drag Turkey into it. So we need the region to gain stability and freedom,” Oran said.

Papandreou calls for dialogue
The president of the Socialist International, former Greek Prime Minister George A. Papandreou, has also come to Turkey to attend the meeting. Papandreou visited Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at his office in Istanbul yesterday. Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Erdoğan, Papandreou said that Greece cooperates with Turkey in diverse fields despite certain problems, Anatolia news agency reported. Papandreou said that Turkey and Greece had to be aware of problems and make efforts to solve them. Papandreou said Cyprus, the continental shelf and the ecumenical issue of the Patriarchate are among the problems Turkey and Greece need to discuss. Papandreou said they also discussed developments in the Arab world and Syria.