Turkey should live in peace with neighbors: CHP leader

Turkey should live in peace with neighbors: CHP leader

Turkey should live in peace with neighbors: CHP leader

Turkey needs to be in peace with its neighbors, from Bulgaria to Syria, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said.

“They pushed us into loneliness in the eastern Mediterranean and called it ‘precious loneliness.’ What is precious about this? We need to be in peace with all our neighbors. We need to be in peace with everyone, including Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia, Greece and Bulgaria,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on Aug. 23 in the western province of Balıkesir.

The “precious loneliness” notion he was referring to was a foreign policy approach adopted by presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın in 2013, who said Turkey’s loneliness in the Middle East was not true, but if it was actually in a state of solitude, it was a “precious loneliness.” At the time, Kalın was a deputy undersecretary in charge of foreign policy.

“[Modern Turkey’s founder] Mustafa Kemal [Atatürk] has a fundamental principle: If you are to say something to someone, first you need to establish peace with all your neighbors. So that no one in your close circle can betray you,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

If a country has hostile relations with its neighbors, it loses the right to have a say, according to Kılıçdaroğlu.

“Turkey will be able to protect its independence when victories on the battlefield are crowned with victories in the economy. We have to do this,” he added.

The CHP leader also criticized the government’s foreign policies, especially towards the Middle East, saying the policies followed were “wrong.”

“What are we doing in the Middle East swamp? Why did we enter there; with what justification? I am looking for the answer to this,” he said.

Kılıçdaroğlu also added that Turkey had no problems either with Syria or with Egypt, prior to the recent developments.

“We had no problems with Syria or Egypt,” he said.

He has recently suggested Turkey establishes contact with the Syrian regime, with which Ankara has severed ties since taking sides with rebels opposing Damascus amid an ongoing civil war.

“Why were we in a quarrel with Egypt? Egypt is the most powerful country in the Middle East,” he added.