Turkey’s main opposition leader raised five questions in relation to the fatal attack at Turkey’s Cilvegözü border gate in Hatay province along the Syria border, in an interview with the Hürriyet Daily Newsyesterday on his way to London.
The leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, first asked how a car could approach the Turkish border [from the Syrian side] when Turkey declared on July 21, 2012, that it has unilaterally closed the Cilvegözü border gate.
The death toll from the Feb. 11 blast increased to 14 yesterday, with investigations focusing on three suspects who were seen on camera leaving the van shortly before the explosion.
The second question Kılıçdaroğlu raised on the issue was: if the van came from the Syrian side, then it was coming from an area controlled by forces combating Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. “How that could happen?” he asked.
Three suspects got out of a van carrying explosives, according to video footage. One suspect crossed the Turkish border while the other two suspects advanced toward the Syrian side of the border, media reports claimed.
Kılıçdaroğlu’s third question related to how the identity of the suspect who allegedly entered Turkey after the explosion could remain unknown when taking into consideration the fact that officials from the Turkish intelligence service, security forces and the customs office were nearby. “There should be passport and ID checks. How come they can’t identify the suspect’s ID,” he asked.
Another question raised by Kılıçdaroğlu is why CHP deputies are not allowed to watch the video footages from the scene. “First they say OK, [you can watch it], then they say there is a decision of secrecy. Why won’t allow the CHP to see footage that were already seen by three ministers? Is there any double standard in the law?” asks Kılıçdaroğlu.
Recalling claims that Turkish intelligence is involved in producing bombs in houses in the southeastern province of Gaziantep, Kılıçdaroğlu finally asked what Turkey’s position on that claim is. He reiterated that the government is responsible of the explosion. He also said the CHP has foreseen the problems Turkey would face in the Syrian crisis and the government owes an apology to the party for not listening to it in the first place.
When asked about Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s accusations that Kılıçdaroğlu was a member of [the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front] DHKP/C, Kılıçdaroğlu said the premier is trying to create a new enemy.
“The prime minister does not have a healthy mental state. Now he is trying to create a new enemy. This is cheap, ordinary politics. Indeed I do not find it appropriate to respond to these remarks, they do not befit a prime minister,” he said.
In response to Erdoğan’s remarks that former Greek Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou had laughed when he told him Kılıçdaroğlu said the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is a member of the Socialist International (SI), Kılıçdaroğlu said that CHP deputy Chair Umut Oran’s phone conversation with Papandreou, in which the Greek leader denied Erdoğan’s claims was a good answer to that. Late Feb. 12, Oran released a statement saying he had called Papandreou and learnt that he hadn’t laugh at Erdoğan’s question and that, on the contrary, he’d told Erdoğan the CCP is a strategic partner of the SI.
“A prime minister should not tell a lie. This is a fundamental rule in politics. There is cooperation between SI and CCP. I mentioned that,” Kılıçdaroğlu also said. He criticized Erdoğan for talking domestic politics with foreign politicians.