[Debate] Turkish opposition slams government over Syria warmongering
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Thu Apr 12 18:52:46 BST 2012
Turkish opposition slams government over Syria warmongering
12 April 2012 / TODAYSZAMAN.COM
The Turkish opposition has slammed the government over warmongering in
Syria as Turkey has intensified its calls on the international
community to immediately act to avert escalating violence in Syria.
Turkey urged the UN Security Council this week to endorse a resolution
that would include taking necessary measures to protect the Syrian
people as the 13-month uprising continues to take a high toll on
“The Turkish Republic has never done as much warmongering as it has
today,” leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP)
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said at a CHP party meeting on Thursday. He said
his party doesn’t endorse interfering in the domestic affairs of
another country and said they reject intervening in a struggle between
authorities and opposition in a foreign nation.
Turkey has been at the forefront of exploring ways to end the more
than year-long crackdown on dissent by Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad's government. After 13 months of bloodshed, a revolt that
began as a mostly peaceful movement against Assad’s stagnant and
entrenched regime has morphed into an insurgency.
The UN estimates more than 9,000 people have been killed since the
uprising began, and the toll continues to climb every day. Regime
forces assault opponents with tanks, machine guns and snipers, and the
Free Syrian Army launches frequent attacks against government targets,
killing soldiers and security forces.
Syria’s main opposition group has said about 1,000 people have been
killed in regime attacks in the last eight days alone, a figure that
could not be independently confirmed. The conflict is among the most
explosive of the Arab Spring, in part because of Syria's web of
allegiances to powerful forces including Lebanon's Hezbollah and
Shiite powerhouse Iran.
Criticizing Turkey’s Syrian policy, Kılıçdaroğlu asserted that the
Turkish government was beating the war drum. He added that Turkey’s
relations with Iraq, Iran and Syria have worsened because of the
government’s interference in the domestic politics of these countries
and that this in turn has downplayed Turkey’s ambition to become a
regional power. The CHP leader accused the government of taking sides
in the conflict and urged the ruling party to invite Iran, Russia and
groups from Syria to Turkey for talks if it wants peace not war.
On Monday, the violence in Syria spilled across two borders when
regime forces opened fire, killing a TV journalist in Lebanon and at
least three people in a refugee camp in Turkey. The bloodshed was a
sign of how easily Syria’s neighbors could be drawn into a wider
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Deputy Chairman Oktay Vural also
harshly criticized Turkey’s foreign policy with respect to Syria and
said it has become based on Washington’s occupation agenda. He added
that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is warmongering over Syria
and that this policy ignites ethnic and sectarian conflict. The
Turkish prime minister said on March 16 that Turkey is considering
setting up a “security” or “buffer” zone along its border with Syria.
Pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) parliamentary group Deputy
Chairman Hasip Kaplan said on Thursday that it is a very critical and
dangerous venture for Turkey to be on the brink of war with its
neighbors. Kaplan also said Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu should
brief Parliament and Erdoğan should brief political party leaders in
detail over Turkey’s policy regarding Syria.
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