Turkish main opposition leader slams government’s foreign policy in anti-war rally
Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu addresses supporters in a peace rally in Adana, Sept. 19. DHA photoTurkish main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu slammed the government’s foreign policy at a peace meeting in Adana on Sept. 20, particularly the position taken by Ankara on the Syrian crisis and the latest developments in Egypt.
“There is no place for grudges and anger in foreign policy. It has to be built on the country’s interests,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in front of a huge crowd of Republican People’s Party (CHP) supporters, adding that the “zero problems” policy trumpeted by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s successive governments had completely failed.
“A wrong foreign policy causes very serious breaking points in countries’ histories,” he said. “Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has no neighbor left he can say hello to or invite for cooperation. Not Iraq, not Syria, not Egypt and not Iran.”
Egypt is condemned, but al-Bashir is not
Kılıçdaroğlu also defended the position of his party – which sent a delegation to Cairo last week to meet with representatives of the country’s interim government – regarding the Egyptian issue.
The CHP leader specifically criticized the recall of Turkey’s ambassador in Cairo. “They recalled the ambassador but in the end they had to swallow their words. The ambassador was sent back to Egypt. Was it the right thing to do? Yes. So why did you recall him in the first place,” Kılıçdaroğlu asked.
“These are the type of mistakes that you can make if emotions govern [foreign policy] instead of reason,” he said.
Kılıçdaroğlu also asked why Sudan’s leader, Omar al-Bashir, who also came to power through a coup, “got red-carpet treatment” by the government.
“[Al-Bashir] has killed 300,000 people and 2.7 million were displaced. He has an international search warrant,” he said in reference to the genocide in Darfur.
Kılıçdaroğlu also said the failure to see that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would be able to hold onto power for so long had ruined Turkey’s reputation in the world.
“You must not be part of the problem, but part of the solution. [The government] has started to create problems,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that the removal of chemical arms from Syria had been proposed by CHP in the past, only to be dismissed by the government.
“Turkey was a playmaker in the Middle East. It has now become a toy,” he said.