Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan should suspend the activities of NATO’s radar base in eastern Turkey if he is really sincere in his harsh language toward Israel, the main opposition leader has said, arguing that the facility protects Israel.
“If Erdoğan wants to do something in favor of Gaza, he can do it very simply. If he was actually against Israel, then he would suspend the activities of the Kürecik radar base,” Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said.
“Why was the radar station in Kürecik [in the eastern province of Malatya] established? It’s because of Israel’s security. Erdoğan, you are appealing to the Arab League and United Nations to take action for Gaza: Then do it yourself and be an example to the world,” Kılıçdarğlu said in his address to the CHP’s parliamentary group meeting today.
Kılıçdaroğlu also denounced Israel for its Gaza assault, calling the situation a humanitarian tragedy. Israel is killing people and even children, which is unacceptable, Kılıçdaroğlu said. “Israel should learn a lesson from its own history. They should not forget the atrocities against the Israeli people.”
Kılıçdaroğlu also responded to Erdoğan’s statement on Turkish journalist Cüneyt Ünal’s handover to a CHP delegation after three months of captivity in Syria, saying those with hatred in their hearts were annoyed by Ünal’s release.
“Those who bear humanity in their hearts thanked us. However, those who bear hatred in their hearts were annoyed by it. A journalist has been released from a Syrian dungeon; why do you get annoyed? We fought this struggle [to secure Ünal’s release] since we have humane sentiments. I can describe those who got annoyed by this release as poor and pathetic,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Erdoğan had earlier expressed appreciation for the CHP’s efforts to secure the journalist’s release, but slammed the party for allegedly turning the handover into a political show in favor of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by publishing a photo taken with the Syrian leader.
This photo is a document of embarrassment and is a black stain on the history of the CHP, Erdoğan said.