Turkey: PM Slams CHP, BDP for Not Supporting Mandate to Send Troops Abroad
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has directed harsh criticism at the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) for their reluctance in supporting a resolution to send Turkish troops abroad.
The resolution was adopted in Parliament in early October with the cooperation of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in the aftermath of a mortar shell that hit the Turkish town of Akçakale on the Syrian border. Five Turkish citizens were killed and eight others were wounded in the attack.
The mandate authorizing the government to send, if need be, Turkish troops to Syria received 320 “yes” votes and 129 “no” votes in Parliament, but also received harsh criticism from the main opposition CHP and the pro-Kurdish BDP.
Addressing his party deputies in Parliament on Tuesday, Erdoğan said the “CHP is riding on the coattails of the BDP,” in a criticism of the cooperation between the two parties against the mandate. “It is not possible to understand how the CHP has become blind due to the love it has for [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad,” he added. Erdoğan also said the main opposition party preferred to protect Assad and his army rather than Turkey and its people. “The people getting killed [as a result of the Syrian mortar strikes] are our citizens. They are our people, aren’t they?” he asked.
According to the prime minister, Parliament adopted the mandate so as not to leave any external attacks targeting Turkey unanswered. He said mortar shells fired by the Syrian army had landed on Turkish territory in the past but did not claim any lives. “Were you expecting us to remain silent, Mr. [Kemal] Kılıçdaroğlu?” Erdoğan asked the CHP leader, adding, “You might tolerate such things [attacks] but we will not.”