Presidential contender İnce accuses Erdoğan of making ‘secret deals with Israel’

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Muharrem İnce, the presidential candidate of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), has accused President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of making “secret deals with Israel,” once again challenging him to debate on TV.

“Did you sign a secret deal with Israel? Yes, you did,” İnce said in an election rally in the Black Sea coastal city of Ordu on June 13.

He directed a number of questions to Erdoğan on his Israeli policy after the president said he had no experience of foreign policy issues. İnce accused Erdoğan of “deceiving the public” on Israel, as his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) continues to do lucrative business in Israel despite harsh diplomatic rhetoric.

“Does oil trade with Israel continue? Yes, it does. Do you continue to buy seeds from Israel? Yes, you do. Did you send an instruction to schools to not boycott Israeli goods? Yes, you did,” he said.

Turkey still imposes a visa on Palestinian citizens while Israelis are exempted from having to get a visa for tourism in the country, İnce added, accusing Erdoğan of “empty talk.”

In a recent rally, Erdoğan said he had become globally renowned because of his “one minute” reaction against late Israeli President Shimon Peres at a forum in Davos in early 2009.

“I call on Erdoğan to discuss [the government’s] Israeli policies with me on TV. Why don’t you accept it? Are you a coward?” İnce said.

İnce also slammed Erdoğan over his Syria policy, which he said was the reason for more than three million refugees currently living in Turkey.

“I will not spend $40 billion for Syrian refugees … The U.N. recently made a new statement, saying 2.5 million more Syrians could flow into Turkey,” he said, referring to the situation in Syria’s Idlib province.

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