World Bulletin / News Desk
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, chairman of Turkey’s opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), has sharply criticized new EU proposals which would see Europe work more closely with Ankara to deal with the refugee crisis.
“They [the EU] want Turkey to host Syrian refugees. … They want Turkey to open refugee camps. They will pay, we will host. This is inhumane and not right,” Kilicdaroglu said in Istanbul on Thursday.
He made the statement during a talk to members of the country’s leading business organization, the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD).
“Syrians have to return to their homeland,” the CHP leader insisted.
EU heads of government are set to gather in Brussels on Thursday to discuss the situation in Syria and the worst refugee crisis facing the 28-nation bloc since World War II.
The EU presented Turkey with a draft action plan last week to enhance cooperation in stopping the flow of refugees into Europe.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to urge speedy progress in negotiations over the plan during talks with Turkish leaders this weekend.
In Istanbul, the CHP leader accused the EU of “turning a blind eye to the Syrian issue”.
“When Syrians began to cross into Europe, they began paying attention to the Syrian problem,” Kilicdaroglu said.
At least 250,000 people have been killed since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in 2011, with 7.6 million internally displaced and over four million having fled to nearby countries.
In order to solve the Syrian civil war, Kilicdaroglu suggested that fighting parties should come together to find a way out while the U.S., Russia, Turkey, Iran, the EU and the Arab League should present ideas on a possible solution.
Secondly, Kilicdaroglu said, Syria has to be rebuilt through European Union funding “so that Syrians can return to their country”.
During his talks with prominent business people, the CHP leader criticized Turkey’s foreign policy, saying there should be a “180-degree” change in direction.
Kilicdaroglu said whole country was paying the price for mistakes in foreign policy.
“They claimed that Turkey is the playmaker. I have to say this: they turned Turkey into the whipping boy of the Middle East,” Kilicdaroglu said.
- Ankara bombings
Kilicdaroglu also reacted against the government’s handling of the weekend’s twin bombing in Ankara that killed almost 100 people.
“This attack could have been prevented,” he said, repeating calls for the resignation of the interior and justice ministers.
“If they don’t resign, they should be dismissed. Enough is enough,” the CHP leader told reporters.
He also criticized a gagging order, restricting reporting of the Ankara attack.
“Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu should tell people why they imposed such restriction,” Kilicdaroglu said.Last Mod: 15 Ekim 2015, 15:40