The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has responded to government criticism directed towards it over a recent visit to Egypt, saying that they went to the country for Turkey's sake and they had nothing to be ashamed of with this trip.
During a press conference at Parliament on Monday, Deputy Chairman Faruk Logoglu responded to criticism by members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) who said the opposition's Egypt visit aimed to “legitimize” the coup administration in the North African country. Logoglu said they did not visit any of the army members during their four-day visit, but had talks with members of political party, including those from deposed president Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, and opinion leaders.
“We visited the people of Egypt; we went there for Turkey. … If there is anything to be ashamed of, I will tell you clearly where the shame is. The shame belongs to AK Party government who cannot go to Baghdad and Egypt,” said Logoglu in defense of the visit.
The CHP earlier said they were paying the visit to Cairo to repair ties between the two countries, which deteriorated after a military coup ousted Morsi.
Logoglu denied media reports which said the CHP supported the “July 3 intervention,” saying that Egyptian journalists particularly directed questions to the CHP and tried to get comments from them that were supportive of the coup. He added that they never expressed support for the coup in Egypt during their trip.
The CHP deputy chairman also commented on talks the delegation had with the grand sheikh of al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb, saying that by accepting the CHP members, Tayeb showed his positive feelings towards the people of Turkey.
Earlier, Erdogan had condemned Tayeb for his endorsement of the military coup, renewing the tension between the two countries. Upon the prime minister's condemnation, various political and religious figures warned Erdogan not to intervene in Egypt's domestic affairs, calling his remarks an attack on the country's Islamic institution and an “insult to all Egyptians.”
“All Egyptians that we have talked to said Turkey and Erdogan hurt us deeply. There is great resentment of the Turkish government; this resentment reaches to the point that they want Turkish goods to be boycotted, relations to be suspended completely and the Turkish envoy to Cairo to be expelled,” Logoglu told reporters.
After meeting with Tayeb, Logoglu had said the delegation showed “his highness the sheikh” the love and commitment Turks have for him and respect the institution he represents.
Logoglu also dismissed criticism that the CHP “complains” about the government during trips to foreign countries, emphasizing that they express “problems” during talks but do not complain.
Syrian opposition in Turkey
Logoglu lashed out at the Turkish government for allowing the Syrian opposition coalition to elect an interim prime minister during a meeting in İstanbul on Sunday, saying that Turkey does not have the right to allow this.
“[The Syrian National Coalition] elected a prime minister for the neighboring country in İstanbul. Which law gives Turkey the conditions and facilities to elect the future prime minister of a country where a civil war is ongoing at the moment? This should be questioned,” he added.
Logoglu also touched upon the issue of Syrian refugees taking shelter in Turkish provinces. Stating that refuges have become a significant problem for Turkey, Logoglu said that the refugees were the reason behind the government's “combative stance” towards Syria as the AK Party could not manage the issue of refugees.
“They [the government] do not know what to do; they do not receive much support form the international community. The issue of refugees, which is getting bigger with regards to its economic, security and social aspects, undermines the AK Party,” added Logoglu. He also called on the government to take stricter measures for the security of Turkish provinces by increasing security controls at refugee camps.
CihanLast Mod: 17 Eylül 2013, 09:51