Turkish PM blames opposition for backing Assad regime

Davutoglu says main opposition CHP and pro-Kurdish HDP voted against Iraq-Syria motion as they want to protect Syrian regime

Turkish PM blames opposition for backing Assad regime

World Bulletin/News Desk

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has accused Tuesday Turkey's two opposition parties for voting against his government's Iraq-Syria motion for the sake of keeping Syria's Bashar al-Assad in power.

The main opposition Republican People's Party, or CHP, and the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, or HDP, cast no votes for the motion on October 2, which would authorize the government to deploy troops to Syria and Iraq, if necessary, to fight any group threatening the country.

The motion, submitted by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's cabinet, was ratified with 298 yes votes at the 550-seat Parliament, with support from the other opposition Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP.

Davutoglu also criticized CHP and HDP for their stance during last week's violence that killed 34 people. The protests were carried out by pro-Kurdish groups in Turkey's southeastern provinces after ISIL militants penetrated the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani, also known as Ayn al Arab, on October 6.

"Turkey is against both ISIL and Assad. But will Kilicdaroglu (main opposition leader) and HDP be able to stand against them that clearly? Their aim is to protect the Syrian regime and Assad," he said.

The main opposition CHP proposed a separate motion at the Turkish Parliament on October 9, demanding that ground troops from the Turkish army against ISIL would be limited to the Kobani region.

The prime minister stated that the two parties have the same mentality with Assad's Baath Party, as "they view Turkey's cities just as Assad views Damascus."

He further said Assad is the Baath among Arabs, CHP resembles Baath among Turks and HDP resembles Baath among Kurds.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish government led by Davutoglu has been criticizing the Turkish opposition and the West, especially the U.S.-led international coalition's air offensives against ISIL targets in Iraq and Syria for only raising their voice against ISIL terror in Kobani, but staying silent in face of Assad regime's agression against his own people during the four year civil war that left at least 190,000 people dead.

"Where were you when Turkmens in Bayirbucak and Cobanbey towns (in Syria's Latakia and Aleppo cities, respectively), and Arabs in Tal Abyad (Syrian city bordering Turkey) were being slaughtered?" he asked the leaders of the two opposition parties.

Turkey has been pushing the international powers for the establishment of a no-fly zone and a safe haven in Syria near the Turkish border for Syrian refugees as thousands of civilians from Kobani continue to flee into Turkey to seek refuge from ISIL attacks. However, officials from the U.S., leading the anti-ISIL coalition, have insisted that for the time being, the proposal is not on table.  

Turkey's opposition back territorial integrity of Syria, Iraq

Meanwhile, Turkey's main opposition leader reiterated his support for Kobani.

Speaking at his parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday, Republican People's Party leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said: "Kobani is important for Turkey's security. If ISIL seizes Kobani, then we will have a border with a terrorist organization."

He has previously stated that his party would support a parliamentary motion authorizing a ground operation by the Turkish army aimed at saving Kobani and repelling ISIL - as long as it was limited.

However, Kilicdaroglu has also emphatically rejected any deployment of foreign soldiers in Turkey, a buffer zone between Turkey and Syria and a no-fly zone. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for a buffer zone to be established for Syrian refugees as hundreds of thousands of civilians still flee into neighboring countries including Turkey.

Turkey has been pushing for the establishment of a no-fly zone and safe havens in Syria near the Turkish border.

Stating that resisting terrorism is a human duty, Kilicdaroglu said, "We defend the territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria."

Also, speaking at his own parliamentary group meeting, Nationalist Movement Party leader Devlet Bahceli said: "It is necessary to avoid any political proposals that will open the territorial integrity of Syria and Iraq for discussion."

Bahceli opposed any corridor and arms aid for Kobani and added that the foremost duty of the government is to guarantee Turkey's own national rights and laws.

Bahceli also criticized Erdogan, saying: "The aim of overthrowing the government in Damascus is not compatible with our national objectives and principles."

Erdogan said on October 6, "Removing the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group from Syria is not enough, removing President Bashar al-Assad's regime should be the main target."

ISIL, which already controls parts of Syria, has extended its reach into Iraq since June 10 when it seized the country’s second-largest city, Mosul.

According to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, at least 24,015 civilians were killed or injured in Iraq during the first eight months of 2014.

ISIL's violence has caused 1.2 million Iraqis – including Turkmen, Arabs, Christians and Yazidis – to flee their homes. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 14 Ekim 2014, 15:50

Muhammed Öylek

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