Turkish PM criticizes opposition’s plan for Egypt trip

Turkish PM criticizes opposition’s plan for Egypt trip

Turkish PM criticizes opposition’s plan for Egypt trip

The main opposition party CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (R) shakes hands with Turkish commanders during Victory Day celebrations in this file photo. DHA photo

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has hit out at the Republican People’s Party (CHP) over its planned visit to Egypt, labeling the visit a chance to send “coup experience” with the military administration in Cairo.

“They are experienced on democracy in the perspective of coups. On this issue, I suppose Turkey’s experiences are not enough; now they will attempt to earn some coup experience outside or convey their own earnings. This is what we think this trip is,” Erdoğan said at a press conference at Ankara’s Esenboğa Airport prior to departing for Russia for the G-20 Summit, on Sept. 4.

Arguing that the CHP has nothing to offer to Egypt and Iraq – which the CHP also recently visited – Erdoğan said the trip would be an opportunity to reveal the CHP’s true colors as regards to its ties with past coup d’états.

The CHP, however, has said it will not be visiting coup leader Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi but will rather demand on meeting the democratically elected ousted president, Mohamed Morsi. “We do not have a rendezvous with Gen. Sisi because the army is not our counterpart. As the CHP, we have also deemed the thing that was done was a coup,” said Faruk Loğoğlu, deputy leader of the CHP.

“But after deeming it a coup, we did not say that we are siding with Morsi. The CHP is on the side of the Egyptian people,” he said.

“If they will let us meet Morsi, we will be delighted, because this is a good sign and it will be an appropriate meeting for our purpose,” Loğoğlu added.

The CHP’s trip is set to take place Sept. 9-12, upon the invitation of Egyptian Foreign Minister Nebil Fehmi. The main opposition party is expected to meet with political party representatives, opinion leaders, civil society organizations and media.

‘We bore the heaviest cost’

Speaking at his party’s Central Executive Board (MYK), CHP deputy leader Gürsel Tekin responded to Erdoğan’s remark on sharing a common coup experience with Egypt.

“Today’s government is a government created as a result of a coup. In Turkey, leftists and the CHP alone bore the heaviest cost of all coups,” Tekin said.

“We have never fed off of putschists. A majority of the prime minister’s staff was working during the Evren era,” Tekin said, referring to the aftermath of the 1980 coup in Turkey which was led by Kenan Evren, the Chief of General Staff at the time.