Turkish main opposition party to government: Make al-Qaeda stance clear

Turkish main opposition party to government: Make al-Qaeda stance clear

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish main opposition party to government: Make al-Qaeda stance clear

Loğoğlu called on the government to make its stance on al-Qaeda clear. AA photo

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has fired salvos at the government with questions regarding their view of al-Qaeda.

Recalling that Turkey’s ambassador to Chad, who said “al-Qaeda is not a terrorist organization,” in a tweet is still on duty, CHP Deputy Chair Faruk Loğoğlu yesterday called on the government to make clear whether or not it considered al-Qaeda as a terrorist organization.

Loğoğlu also said al-Qaeda’s former spokesperson, Abu Ghaith, who entered the country without a passport, was released by Turkish security forces following his detention and that Turkey had not extradited him despite a U.S. request to do so. “What is this person still doing in Turkey?” he asked, speaking at a press conference at the Parliament. Unconfirmed news reports in February said the United States asked Turkey to extradite Ghaith after his detention in Ankara earlier this year. Ghaith was seized at a luxury hotel in Ankara after a tip-off from the CIA, and was being held there by police, the reports said.

Regarding Turkish Ambassador to Chad Ahmet Kavas, Loğoğlu, a former ambassador and undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry, said envoys represent their states. Neither the Foreign Ministry nor any figure from the government has so far provided a reaction to the ambassador’s remarks, and he remains on duty.

“Does the AKP [the ruling Justice and Development Party] government regard al-Qaeda as a terror organization or not? Considering that its ambassador has not been corrected, what kind of conclusion should we draw? It is essential that the government make this issue clear and that they be open within the context of ongoing efforts toward ending terror and violence in our country,” Loğoğlu said.

Kavas is one of around a dozen non-diplomats that has been appointed as ambassadors by the AKP government. Kavas, an academic with expertise on Africa, was most recently working at Istanbul University’s Faculty of Theology before being appointed to his current post in August 2012.