Unemployment could have been prevented with money spent on Syrian refugees: CHP head
The $35 billion expenditure Turkish government has spent on Syrian refugees could have ameliorated Turkey’s deteriorating economy, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said on March 18.
“The money [Turkey] spent on 3.5 million Syrian refugees is $35 billion. With this money, we could have precluded unemployment, built many more dams like Keban Dam [in eastern Elazığ province] and Atatürk Dam [in southeastern Şanlıurfa province], constructed thousands of factories, and thousands of people would no longer starve,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in his speech at a meeting in the capital Ankara to mark March 18 Martyrs’ Day.
“Turkey’s citizens see this very clearly. What happened after 17 years of [Justice and Development Party - AKP] rule? They sold all the factories and put the citizens to wait in queues just to buy onions,” he added, referring to a recent campaign introduced by the government to sell vegetables and fruits at lower prices following price hikes.
The party leader also asked AKP voters how they could still vote for the ruling party despite the economic difficulties.
“During the first years of the young republic, we produced and sold grapes, figs and wheat and built factories with the revenue we generated. Now, we are selling factories to buy onions, potatoes and tomatoes,” he stressed.
Turkey’s economic difficulties can only be solved through national production, he said.
Kılıçdaroğlu also called on the voters of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the AKP’s main election ally, stressing that nationalism necessitates endorsing national production not supporting the sale of national factories.
“I am asking my nationalist brothers: Show me another country that sells its own arms factory to a foreign country’s army,” he said, referring to a government decree to transfer the right to operate the national tank factory to BMC Turkish-Qatari venture for 25 years.
“If you still go and vote for the party who sold the tank factory, I will no longer deem you as nationalists,” he stressed.
The party leader also marked the 104th anniversary of Çanakkale victory and said Turkey’s army had battled against the great powers.
“Every year, Australians who lost their ancestors in Çanakkale come to our country. [Modern Turkey founder Mustafa Kemal] Atatürk had once told them that their ancestors were commended by us. He was such a leader that he even honored the enemy,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.