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Kemal Kilicdaroglu says draw some lessons from Gezi events

“We drew some lessons after the Gezi Park events. The first thing we did was to establish a social media center in Istanbul. And we have 18 young people working at this center now. They certainly employ a language different than the language that we employ. In 140 characters they’re able to describe the world in a much better way than we can,” said the CHP head while speaking at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He added, “We have to work harder. There’s no other choice. There are quite a number of young people who were part of the Gezi movement who would like to volunteer to work in our party.” Concerning foreign policy, Kilicdaroglu said that CHP’s main goal is “to make sure that Turkey becomes a country that is reputable, reliable, peaceful. And a country that contributes to the solution of problems as a member of Europe and the community.” He took special note of Turkey’s recent falling out with Egypt, saying, “The current status of affairs between Turkey and Egypt are a result of the wrong policies pursued by the Turkish government,” said Kilicdaroglu.

Ankara’s ambassador to Cairo, Huseyin Avni Botsali, was expelled from Egypt by Egyptian authorities in late November.

“No country should become directly a party within another country’s internal affairs. Unfortunately the AKP government pursued exactly such a policy which led to the deterioration of relations between Turkey and Egypt,” he said.

He added, “A deterioration of relations with Egypt also constitutes a risk with respect to the future of the Middle East.”


Regarding Syria, Kilicdaroglu said that the future of the country is ultimately for Syrians to decide as he voiced CHP’s support for the upcoming Geneva II peace talks.

Kilicdaroglu contended that his party had asked Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to form a similar conference in Turkey two years ago, but he said that call went unfufilled. 

Asked what CHP would have done differently than the ruling party vis-à-vis the Syria conflict, he said, “We would definitely not have allowed al Qaeda or al Nusra going through Turkish territory in to Syria. We would never allow jihadists to establish camps in Turkey. We would never have allowed the sending of arms to al Qaeda through Turkey. We would never have become one of the parties of the conflict in Syria. We would not have added fuel to the fire. The wrong foreign policy which has been pursued has resulted in greater violence in Syria.”  

Turkish government has so far rejected claims that they have been aiding jihadists in their fight againstSyrian regime.  

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