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    Opposition leaders Baykal and Bahceli lash out at AKP's current strategies with Iraq, US

    Hürriyet Haber
    31.10.2007 - 12:46 | Son Güncelleme: 31.10.2007 - 12:49

    Opposition leaders Deniz Baykal of the CHP and Devlet Bahceli of the MHP have both publicly criticized Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his upcoming meeting with US President George W. Bush, and for Turkey's stance on what to do regarding the PKK presence in northern Iraq.

    Said Baykal yesterday, in reference to a speech made by PM Erdogan to his ruling AKP parliamentary group this week: "What we are dealing with here is not the respect of Prime Minister Erdogan, but the respect accorded to Turkey." Baykal is insisting that Turkey needs to show more decisiveness in regards to firm action in northern Iraq. He also noted yesterday: "US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asked Turkey to wait 72 hours in regards to a possible over the border operation. Turkey accepted that 72 hours, thinking that in that time frame a solution could be found. But 72 hours passed. And then another 72 hours passed. Which 72 hour period are we in now?"
    For his part, MHP Bahceli yesterday focused his criticism on Erdogan's November 5 meeting with Bush in Washington, noting that the Turkish PM should decline traveling to Bush, and that instead Bush should "come to Erdogan's feet" in Ankara. Said Bahceli yesterday "By referring to the north of Iraq as 'Kurdistan,' the US Secretary of State put a label on it. And the PM's words about how the US is 'creating projects despite us in the region' is an admission of diplomatic bankruptcy."


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