Turkish Opposition Leader Calls Ankara's Meddling in Syrian Conflict a Mistake
18:49 24.07.2017(updated 18:56 24.07.2017)
The leader of the largest opposition political party in Turkey sharply criticized Ankara's foreign policy, especially regarding the Syrian conflict and the Qatari diplomatic crisis.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP), which is the main opposition party in the Turkish Parliament, told Sputnik Turkiye during an exclusive interview that his country currently has serious problems in relations with many countries.
"Rather than conducting a reliable and consistent foreign policy, the authorities base their strategy on hostility and pressure, which leads to tensions in relations with everyone – Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Libya and even with the EU," he explained.
According to Kilicdaroglu, the CHP intends to help forge peaceful relations with all of Turkey's neighbors.
"We do not intend to meddle in the Arab world's internal problems in the Middle East. We do not seek to directly participate in a regional conflict or to become a part of it – our goal is to play a key role in its resolution," he said.
The politician also added that the CHP seeks to implement all necessary steps to ensure Turkey's democratization because "Turkish people should not content themselves with merely a third-rate democracy, with its sham."
"Sending weapons to the Jabhat an-Nusra (al-Nusra Front) group in Syria, meddling in that country's internal affairs and encouraging bloodshed there – this is simply unacceptable. I said it before and I keep saying it now: what problems do we have in relations with Syria? Why do we meddle in its internal affairs? What national interests might Turkey have there?" Kilicdaroglu said.
He pointed out that the Turkish Middle Eastern policy resulted in serious losses for Ankara.
"Only recently Daesh terrorists executed 200 more Turkmen. Civilians had to flee their homes and seek shelter in other parts of Syria and abroad. There is a similar situation in Iraq as well. All those people were doing well for themselves before; they were acting as a sort of bridge between Turkey and Syria. There could've been a very positive development in relations, but unfortunately we scrapped it," the politician lamented.
Kilicdaroglu also took a dim view of Ankara's decision to deploy military personal to Qatar amid the diplomatic crisis in the region.
"We immediately regarded it as a wrong move because it made Turkey a direct participant of a conflict that should be resolved by Arab states. By moving against the entire Arab world, Turkey became a country that further escalates the crisis," Kilicdaroglu said.
He also added that the fact that Qatar moved to cover the expenses related to the Turkish military deployment worries him because it looks like Ankara essentially rents its troops to Doha.
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