Tensions among parties flare over botched raid
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
A group of women, who name themselves ‘Mothers for Peace,’ joined by BDP deputies, hold a sit-in at Parliament to demand the release of jailed terrorist leader Öcalan. The group yesterday occupied the corridor where the prime minister’s office is located for 15 minutes while Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was in his room. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZThe Peace and Democracy Party’s (BDP) co-chair delivered a ferocious tirade against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan yesterday in a mounting row over the bombing of 35 civilians, threatening to take the incident to international platforms.
“Regimes that murder their own people are not legitimate. We don’t recognize your legitimacy. We don’t recognize your prime ministry and mentality. Instead of insulting us, you must first give an account for the massacre of youths and apologize,” BDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş told his party’s parliamentary group.
His outburst followed Erdoğan’s harsh accusations against the BDP earlier in the day.
Demirtaş said the reaction of officials and the people nationwide would have been prompter and stronger if ethnic Turks had perished in the botched raid. “You are dividing this country emotionally by trying to cover up the massacre. You are dividing this country by hurling insults from Parliament’s rostrum. You are insulting millions of people who voted for the BDP,” Demirtaş said.
Matching Erdoğan’s accusations that the BDP was a puppet of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Demirtaş called the prime minister a “slave” of Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen. “If the government attempts to cover up this massacre, we will take the issue to international platforms,” he said.
Republican People’s Party (CHP) chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, for his part, renewed calls on the government to reveal who supplied the intelligence that prompted the air strike. The plight of the many smugglers active on the Turkish-Iraqi border, who brave the risk of clandestine crossings in return for tiny earnings, should make the government think how successful the Turkish economy actually is, he said.
Kılıçdaroğlu defended his visit to the Gülyazı village and said relatives of the decedents warmly welcomed him, which disturbed Erdoğan.”
MHP backs strike
In contrast to the other opposition parties, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) defended the strike, arguing that the army must act even at the slightest suspicion of a threat.
“If there is a 1 percent chance that those sneaking over the border will hurt our citizens and soldiers, then the government must take immediate action. This is what they have done in the latest incident,” MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli told his party’s parliamentary group.
The squabbles continued later in the day when Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay briefed Parliament about how the botched strike unfolded. The smugglers were using a route in an uninhabited area where PKK activity had recently increased, and did not respond to flare signals and warning shots that were fired before the strike, he said.
At times shouting from the rostrum, BDP co-chair Gültan Kışanak said: “We are told it was an operational accident. How can you be so insensible, so arrogant in the face of 35 deaths! If you are human, you must first apologize and ask for forgiveness.”