President blames main opposition party of backing terror suspects

President blames main opposition party of backing terror suspects

President blames main opposition party of backing terror suspects

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sept. 4 accused the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) of failing to back families whose children have been abducted or forcibly recruited by the illegal PKK group.

While CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu led a protest “march in support of members of the FETÖ,” he has yet to visit families in southeastern Turkey demonstrating for over two years against the PKK, Erdoğan said at a meeting of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in northern Rize province.

“Kılıçdaroğlu, who marched from Ankara to Istanbul for members of FETÖ, hasn’t once visited the families of Diyarbakir who are fighting to reunite with their children,” he said referring to the families’ sit-in protest in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.

Erdoğan accused the CHP of not supporting these families as much as it did former public officials who were dismissed from their duties due to suspected FETÖ ties.

Kılıçdaroğlu had launched his march after the former CHP lawmaker Enis Berberoğlu was sentenced to 25 years in prison for leaking “state secrets” to the media over the stopping of National Intelligence Office (MİT) trucks on the Syrian border.

In 2019, a handful of mothers started a sit-in protest outside the office of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), as they accused the party of playing a role in their children’s disappearance.

Erdoğan accused the main opposition of not taking a “local and national stance” not only on the issue of mothers in Diyarbakır but also on any issue that concerns the “survival of the country and the future of the people.”

He also blamed the CHP for “opposing” the government’s activities which aimed for the “sake of the country.”

“They opposed every step that we took for the sake of our country’s survival, our nation and our brothers, including Turkey’s natural gas exploration activities in the eastern Mediterranean,” the president said.

Erdoğan also accused the CHP of not supporting Turkey’s trio of successful anti-terror operations across its border in northern Syria - Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018) and Peace Spring (2019) - and Turkey’s military operations in Libya, Iraq and Karabakh.

The president noted that Turkey would open Artvin-Rize airport before the end of 2021.

“We see every issue of our Rize as our own. All our institutions and philanthropists mobilized to compensate for the damages in flood disasters. Work continues on 378 residences, 10 shops and a tea center to be built in place of the destroyed houses,” he stated.