Turkey is not participating in the battle to retake Mosul from jihadists because of the government’s wrong foreign policies, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said yesterday.
“The Mosul operation has begun. Turkey is not at the table. Why is Turkey not at the table?” he said. “I have to defend and protect the interests of my own country. But this foreign policy is dragging Turkey to disaster. We are following the wrong foreign policy.”
The CHP leader had previously criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for pursuing a sectarian foreign policy which resulted in Iraq opposing the presence of Turkish troops in the northern area of Bashiqa. Kılıçdaroğlu reiterated his comments indicating that the underlying reason behind the fact that the participation of Turkey in the Mosul operation faced opposition from both Iraq and coalition forces was Erdoğan’s comments.
“[President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] talked to a TV station in Dubai and ruined everything. He called for a sectarian foreign policy. What happened? Iraqi Prime Minister [Haider al-Abadi] told us, ‘Leave our territory, Bashiqa,’” he said.
“It is a hard thing to take. All the troops from other countries are there. Our troops are also there. We called to the Iraqi government. We said we are there for the protection of the Iraqi people and to save Iraq from ISIL [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] terror. We respect the territorial integrity of Iraq. But somebody [Erdoğan] is not speaking accordingly,” he added.
Another example of the wrong foreign policy is on Egypt, Kılıçdaroğlu said. “We fought against Egypt. What is our problem with Egypt? Egypt canceled a Ro-Ro transportation contract. Our trucks can no longer go to Egypt; who is responsible for the loss?”
Criticizing Erdoğan for storming around when the topic is Egypt, the CHP head said, “He should ask truck drivers and exporters who is the main person responsible for [the state of ties with Egypt].”
Turkey and Egypt reduced the level of bilateral diplomatic relations after the former continued its strong-worded criticisms of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who came to power in mid-2013 after toppling Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first democratically elected president, through a coup. Erdoğan advised cabinet ministers to pursue talks with their Egyptian counterparts but indicated his unwillingness to reconcile with el-Sisi.