Turkey’s main opposition leader says PM can’t go anywhere in Middle East

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The main opposition leader assures crowds that he could travel to Gaza if need be, taking a swing at Turkish Premier Recep Erdoğan’s repeatedly postponed trip to the Palestinian lands

 

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has ran out of friendly figures in the Middle Eastern region and “can’t go anywhere,” according to main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

“Mr. Prime Minister can’t go anywhere. He said he would go to Gaza, right? He can’t. He can’t even find the way to his own house,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that the recent Gezi protests had severely damaged Erdoğan’s image abroad.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has postponed a visit to Gaza in 2013 several times, but Kılıçdaroğlu said he himself could soon travel to the Palestinian territory.

“We need a new understanding. We need a new government. A government that loves its people, defends the people’s interests, and conducts an honorable foreign policy,” the CHP chief said.

In a recent interview with daily Hürriyet, Kılıçdaroğlu said his party could be the answer to the troubles in Turkish foreign policy. “We are representing Turkey’s far-sighted foreign policy stance. We are not declaring a group as an enemy while supporting another group in a foreign country. The Justice and Development Party [AKP] is creating new enemies while the CHP is forming new friendships.”

Gaza visit

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan previously had announced he would go to Gaza in April and then in June and include the West Bank but the trip was not realized due to security concerns.

Kılıçdaroğlu said he would not like to see himself in the situation of intending to go to Gaza but failing to realize it. “Esteemed Prime Minister was said to go there with an armada,” Kılıçdaroğlu mockingly said.

Kılıçdaroğlu said the prior condition was to get an invitation from Gaza and determine the officials to meet. He added he would realize the visit if he was invited since the CHP was representing “Turkey’s longheaded foreign policy expression.”

Kılıçdaroğlu said he was holding visits abroad to “clean Turkey’s image tarnished by the Justice and Development Party.” The CHP leader also said “they were aiming to fix Turkey’s image which was scattered by the AKP on the base of faith.”

Kılıçdaroğlu said at an Iraqi think tank the officials he met said Turkey was acting like Iraq was one of its provinces.

He said the AKP’s foreign policy caused this perception and it should change, “another Turkey, another Middle East is possible,” he added.

Kılıçdaroğlu said he was invited to the United States by the White House and the visit could take place in October.

The AKP had ruined Turkey’s 90-year-long foreign policy in 12 years with a sectarian perspective of Middle East and ignoring Turkey’s interests, Kılıçdaroğlu said.

“I have never been an Assad supporter in my life, never said ‘I support Assad’ quite on the contrary I condemned the violence every time, whoever oppressed their own people,” he said, emphasizing that his party had never supported Syria’s al-Assad regime, Kılıçdaroğlu also said Erdoğan was unable to travel anywhere in the region. “Mr. Prime Minister can’t go anywhere in the Middle East,” the main opposition leader said. “He can hardly find the way to his own house.”

 

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