“Today, nearly the entire world has declared us as an enemy,” said main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu while discussing the current news agenda at a group party meeting on Oct. 15.
“We said that the territorial integrity of every country, particularly our neighboring countries, should be respected. Every country should respect our territorial integrity and our sovereignty. If I don’t respect the territorial integrity of another country, than I gain an enemy,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
The CHP has mostly supported Turkey’s recently launched Operation Peace Spring in northeastern Syria against the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey considers to be the Syrian branch of the banned militant Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK).
Kılıçdaroğlu has nevertheless maintained a critical stance toward the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, blaming him for the region’s problems.
“[Erdoğan] is talking about a fetih (conquest). According to the Turkish Language Society (TDK), that means to seize control of a country by means of war. How is it possible that the top leader of the country is talking about a conquest?” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Only pro-Kurdish HDP categorically opposes Erdoğan’s operation
“This attempt at the occupation of northern Syria, where Kurds, Arabs, Yazidis, Assyrians, Alawites and Turkmens are trying to live and establish their future is in breach of international law. It is illegitimate, inhumane and unconscientious,” said Pervin Buldan, co-leader of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), while speaking at a group party meeting on Tuesday.
Out of Turkey’s five major political parties, the HDP is the only one that strongly opposes Operation Peace Spring.
“This isn’t the first time that Turkey is engaging in a cross-border operation. Previously, and also for the proper reasons, many operations have been conducted. However, in no operation have we ever been this alone in the international arena. Whatever countries that are considered friends and however many leaders that the president has called his friend, they are against this operation. ‘My pal’ Trump, ‘my friend’ Putin, ‘my buddy’ Khamenei are all against the operation,” said opposition right-wing Good Party (İP) leader Meral Akşener at a party group meeting on Tuesday.