Turkey not EU’s ‘concentration camp’: CHP leader

Turkey not EU’s ‘concentration camp’: CHP leader

Turkey not EU’s ‘concentration camp’: CHP leader

DHA photo

Turkey’s main opposition leader has harshly criticized the recent refugee deal between Ankara and the European Union, saying it is destined to turn Turkey into a “concentration camp.”

“Some 2.5 million Syrians are currently here. Now the Europeans say ‘Make sure you don’t let more Syrians come to us. We will give you 3.5 billion euros and you will take care of them.’ But is Turkey a concentration camp?” said Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Dec. 3.

The EU agreed at a summit on Nov. 29 on a three-billion-euro ($3.2 billion) aid deal to stem the flow of migrants from Turkey, which is hosting over two million Syrian refugees.

Kılıçdaroğlu also took aim at the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) broader foreign policy, speaking at a convention of the Confederation of Turkish Labor Unions (Türk-İş).

“What are we doing in the Middle East quagmire? The Middle East quagmire is not our business. Why are we going there, why are we sending weapons there?” he said, in apparent reference to claims that Turkey has been providing weapons to groups fighting against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“It is a shame. It is a sin. More than 40,000 children have died already ... Why are we setting off Muslims against Muslims? They say we are ‘pro-Assad.’ Actually, al-Assad is none of my business,” the CHP stated.

Kılıçdaroğlu has become the second senior Turkish political leader to lambast the deal with the EU, after Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli earlier said it does not comply with “national honor.” 

“There is a price for the EU’s promise of 3 billion euros and its granting of visa-free travel to Turkey. This price is making Turkey a refugee center and turning it into a concentration camp,” Bahçeli said on Dec. 1, in sentiments later echoed by Kılıçdaroğlu.