Turkey’s main opposition leader has paid a visit to the Turkish troops on the Syrian border as the Operation Olive Branch into Afrin continues into Afrin province of the neighboring country, days after he harshly slammed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for visiting a military outpost along with celebrities.
“I have met with our soldiers at the Sakız Border Post. I have found them in good spirit. Our heroic army is providing security not only for Turkey but for the entire region,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, head of the Rebuplican People’s Party (CHP) told reporters after his visit in Hassa province of Hatay, on the Syrian border on April 14. “The Turkish army makes its deterrence capacity well felt in the region,” he said.
Kılıçdaroğlu, accompanied with Hatay lawmakers, was greeted by the Brigadier General Erkan Olgay at the border outpost where he spent less than one hour. He also visited a number of families whose sons have been martyred in the fight against the People’s Protection Units (YPG) into Afrin.
The main opposition leader’s to the troops came after a harsh quarrel between him and President Erdoğan who held a similar visit to another border post with the company of celebrities. The presidential visit created a mass debate because celebrities were seen as singing and playing their instruments during the meeting with the troops on the border. Kılıçdaroğlu had called these celebrities as disgraceful and accused Erdoğan of not respecting to the memories of the martyrs given in the fight against terror.
Erdoğan slams CHP leader over the visit
President Erdoğan’s reaction on Kılıçdaroğlu’s visit came only a few hours after the main opposition leader’s meeting with the troops.
“Well, you were having fun with our artists? You were asking them ‘What you are doing along with this man?’ What is your business in Hatay? Why (he had to go)? Because he was criticized. He was told ‘It’s wrong, you also have to go’,” Erdoğan said in a rally in Istanbul on April 14.