Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Jan. 15 criticized the government’s foreign policy and urged a more “peace-oriented foreign policy” based on Turkey’s intermediator role in the Middle East.
“We need to make foreign policy peace-oriented. What did we benefit from the policy in Syria? Now, more of our brothers and sisters are coming from Idlib. What good did we do?” Kılıçdaoğlu said.
The CHP chief’s remarks came during a speech at a meeting with village heads in the Central Anatolian province of Konya.
Kılıçdaorğlu said that he received an avalanche of criticisms over the government’s foreign policy in Syria and especially in Idlib.
“I said ‘We need to send the Syrians back to their countries’ and they got upset. My citizens are unemployed, they are in a miserable situation,” he said.
Kılıçdaroğlu also expressed that allowing at most one million asylum seekers into the country would not be a problem. “But there are 6.3 million Syrian refugees in Turkey.”
“Where is this country going? The number of migrants is too high,” he added.
Regarding Turkey’s stance on Libya, the CHP leader said that Ankara has become a “tool” for the world’s hegemons.
“They got angry at [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad and used us. Now, they’re fighting in Libya and say, ‘You deal with the fire’ to us. Why should we?” he said.
“Is there a United Nations and a peace mission? Yes, so, they should go [to Libya],” he added.
Underlining that Turkey has always been “at the top” in the region, Kılıçdaroğlu said that troubled countries in the Middle East had always come to Ankara for advice.
He said that Turkey’s say in issues “had a weight” before but now the country became an “enemy” for the region’s nations. “Why are we making enemies where we can make friends?” he said.
“I said a peacekeeping force should exist [in Libya] but they got angry [because] the United Nations does not recognize [east-based military commander Khalifa] Haftar’s side. You invite the U.N. – regardless of the recognition and say, ‘Muslim blood should not be shed here’,” he said.
The CHP leader also slammed Ankara’s recent rapprochement with Moscow, saying Russian President Vladimir Putin has an impact on Turkish foreign policy.
“Putin said and [the government] went [to Moscow] and met with Haftar. Putin is determining the policy,” he said.
“Turkey cannot determine its foreign policy,” he added.
Kılıçdaroğlu also conveyed his conversation with Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in which he asked whether there will be a migration influx from Libya in case of more-escalated tensions in the war-torn country. “He said ‘yes, there will be.”
“We need to sit and think. Turkey can overcome all of its issues,” Kılıçdaroğlu added.
Hurriyet Daily News