President Erdoğan should ‘reconsider’ his US visit, Main opposition says

President Erdoğan should ‘reconsider’ his US visit, Main opposition says

President Erdoğan should ‘reconsider’ his US visit, Main opposition says Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on May 10 slammed the U.S. decision to arm the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, saying President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan should “reconsider” his meeting with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump at the White House, scheduled for May 16.

Trump’s May 9 authorization of arming the YPG “constitutes a threat for both the region’s safety and Turkey’s unity,” the CHP’s newly appointed spokesperson Bülent Tezcan said after the party’s Central Executive Committee (MYK) meeting on May 10. 

“It is out of the question that Turkey ... should be put in weak position. Because of this, following the decision [of the U.S.], we believe the president should review his U.S. visit in a serious matter and reconsider it,” Tezcan added.

“While the [Turkish] preparatory delegation is still there [in the U.S.], the U.S. has declared that they will give heavy arms to YPG … This is not something acceptable for Turkey,” the CHP lawmaker said, referring to the Turkish delegation’s high-level talks with U.S. officials in Washington ahead of Erdoğan’s visit. 

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) also lashed out against the U.S. decision. 

“This is a hostile attitude towards Turkey. It is clear that these weapons [provided to the YPG] will be turned towards Turkey in the future. The U.S. should make its decision. It cannot continue with its two-faced policies,” said MHP Deputy Chair Erkan Akçay.
“The president [Erdoğan] should go on the U.S. visit and warn them in a very serious way. You say ‘we are friends and allies’ but then perform actions that are not in line with friendship. This is not acceptable,” Akçay added. 

The Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), however, said the U.S. decision to support the YPG in Syria was “already expected.” 

“The [Democratic Union Party] PYD and the [Syrian Democratic Forces] SDF are working together with the coalition there. Both are on the frontline against ISIL and at the local level,” said Hisyar Özsoy, the HDP’s vice co-chair responsible for foreign affairs. 

“There is a prevailing opinion in Washington that there is no other power that can drive ISIL away from Raqqa apart from them. Turkey has long imposed an idea of ‘either them or us.’ But the U.S. wants to work with both the Kurds and Turkey against ISIL. This is not a surprising situation,” Özsoy added. 

Ankara considers the PYD and its armed wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), as “terrorist” groups linked to the PKK. It has long pressed Washington to stop its alliance with the group in the fight against ISIL.