Government’s Foreign Policy Discrediting Turkey, Main Opposition Leader Says

kılıçdaroğlu-1The government’s foreign policy is discrediting Turkey in the region, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said.

“We used to be the most prestigious country [in the region],” he said, while addressing party deputies in parliament on Feb. 23. “Now we have turned into a tribal state.”

Turkey should change its foreign policy completely, the main opposition leader argued.

“Statesmen are those who defend the benefits of their countries. Those who have made Turkey a part of the Middle East swamp cannot be statesmen. Those who support such a thing cannot either. Why are we involved in the domestic business of Syria?” he asked.

Kılıçdaroğlu recalled a pledge by then-prime minister President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2012 to serve a Friday prayed at the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus “as soon as possible” and said some 2.5 million Syrians came to Turkey instead.

He also questioned the government’s potential to do the right things in the region.

“It does not have such a power, it just talks,” he said.

The United States and Russia have agreed on a cease-fire in Syria, while continuing to fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and al-Nusra, and Turkey is even not mentioned in the deal, Kılıçdaroğlu said.

“How did this country become like this? This country was not served to us on a golden plate,” he said.

“No honest man among you steps forward and says that he resigns,” he addressed the government.

Kılıçdaroğlu also hit out at Tuğba Hezer, a Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy who paid a visit to a house where the family of the suicide bomber in the recent Ankara attack was receiving condolences.

“It is not right to go to the condolence tent of the terrorist and this is a betrayal to this country,” he said.

“You are getting paid by the Turkish Republic, swear on your honor and then visit the tent, just as a prize to the terrorist and in a manner that encourages terror actions,” he said.

“We condemned this and oppose this,” he added.