Turkey’s main opposition seeks parliament initiative as Syria rockets repeatedly hit border town
AA photoTurkey’s main opposition party has appealed for a parliamentary inquiry into security measures taken on the country’s border with war-torn Syria, as the southeastern province of Kilis has come under frequent attack from rockets fired across the border from Syria in the last few weeks, prompting the army to respond to each strike with howitzer fire.
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) also offered that the inquiry should outline proposals for an effective and permanent solution aimed at halting illegal crossings on the border.
Putting the blame concerning border security solely on the war in Syria would not be right, since civilian authorities assigned in the area were accomplices in the crime, CHP Istanbul deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu said in his motion for inquiry filed to the parliament speaker’s office on April 25.
“Negligent behavior which led to suspicion of deliberate intent has extinguished border security. The border has at the same time become one of the places where illegal human smuggling crimes have been taking place the most,” Tanrıkulu said.
“The state has been rendered unable to provide border security. Suicide bombers are slaughtering our citizens here by freely passing the border. The parliament should display a will on this issue,” he said.
“The state has the capability to provide security of its borders and citizens. This situation taking place on the border has been turning into bombs exploding in the heart of the country. Security measures on the border should be increased. Civilian authorities who have been negligent should be suspended. Problems experienced on border security have become a main agenda topic of the country,” he elaborated, while justifying his argument for a parliamentary inquiry into the matter.
In the last few weeks, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) jihadists have repeatedly fired rockets at Kilis - the only place in Turkey where refugees from Syria’s five-year conflict now outnumber local Turks.
As of April 24, Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan said that since the middle of January, 45 rockets have hit Kilis, killing at least 16 people. On April 25, a rocket attack left five Syrians dead, including four children.
Turkey had not yet received intelligence to ascertain if the border town was deliberately targeted by ISIL, the president’s office said on April 25.
“There is a chaotic war on the Syrian side,” Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın told reporters at a press conference. “Some of [the rockets] might be landing [in Turkey] by mistake and some might be fired deliberately,” Kalın suggested.