Turkey’s main opposition suggests limited ground operation into Kobane

Turkey’s main opposition suggests limited ground operation into Kobane

Turkey’s main opposition suggests limited ground operation into Kobane

Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu speaks during a press conference on Oct. 9. DHA Photo

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has suggested that the government should renew a parliamentary mandate authorizing the Turkish army to mobilize in neighboring Syria by clarifying that it would solely aim to save the border town of Kobane from jihadists. The current mandate gives broad and vague authority for cross border operations into Iraq and Syria.

“Let’s limit our army’s ground operation to the target of rescuing Kobane and driving ISIL [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] from there. Let’s definitely drop from the motion the article about allowing foreign soldiers to be stationed in our country. Instead, let’s add an expression that states that we could provide cooperation for air strikes,” CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said at a press conference on Oct. 9.

“Within this framework, as the CHP, we would lend all kinds of support,” he added.

Kılıçdaroğlu’s party voted against a motion adopted on Oct. 2 that gave the government new powers to launch military incursions into Syria and Iraq, and to allow foreign forces to use Turkish territory for possible operations against ISIL.

At the time, the CHP head argued that the motion brought to Parliament by the government was not aimed at broadening the struggle against terror, but was directed against Syria itself.

“We would support a motion on the struggle against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or the Kurdistan Workers’ Party [PKK], in short, against terrorist organizations. This was also what the Western coalition was looking for: A struggle against the terrorist organization of ISIL. But this is not the motion that came to Parliament. On the contrary, it is about struggling against Syria,” Kılıçdaroğlu said when that motion was debated.

Suggesting that the Oct. 2 motion was “an omnibus motion, the meaning of which could not be understood by anybody,” the opposition leader described on Oct. 9 their alternative motion as having “a definite target and content.”

“Let’s immediately adopt afresh such a motion. In this way, let’s not allow a terror organization like ISIL to kill the relatives of our people. Let’s personally provide their protection and their return to their homes safe and sound,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

“As for rebuilding of our internal peace; the AKP’s [the ruling Justice and Development’ Party] exercise of detaining our Kurdish citizens and deceiving all of us until it realizes its expansionist delusions – which is called ‘resolution process’ – turned out to be hot air,” he added, referring to the government-led Kurdish resolution process, which has become endangered upon pro-Kobane street protests across Turkey.

The unrest has claimed the lives of at least 22 people in less than 48 hours, in reaction to the government’s perceived inaction against jihadist attacks against Syrian Kurds in Kobane.