Opposition not satisfied with Erdoğan’s initiatives

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Opposition not satisfied with Erdoğan’s initiatives
Oluşturulma Tarihi: Ocak 07, 2009 00:00

ANKARA - Despite their condemnation of Israel's Gaza strikes that match Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's tone, opposition members rebuffed the Prime Minister’s efforts to broker a cease-fire as insincere and hollow, during speeches in Parliament yesterday.

Parliament included the issuing of a declaration on the situation in Gaza in its agenda, but it was rejected.

Parliamentary members blamed Israel for violence in the Gaza Strip, condemning Israel for civilian losses. State Minister Mehmet Aydın called for the establishment of a Palestinian state, to end what he termed "a humanitarian problem on a global scale ... Almost 600 people, including a significant number of children and women, are dead. It is merely a deception to claim that civilians are not targeted," he said.

Aydın told Parliament about the government’s initiatives to broker a cease-fire in the region. "Israel must stop the aggression and lift the blockade. Another step to the solution of the problem is reconciliation between Palestinians, and the establishment of a free Palestinian state," Aydın said.

Opposition parties remain skeptical of Erdoğan’s telephone diplomacy with Western leaders and his Middle East tour to try and establish a truce between Israel and Hamas.

Both the main opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, and the Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, leaders hammered Israel operations in the Gaza Strip. CHP leader Deniz Baykal said Gaza violence was "one of the most shameful events of human history... There is no just reason to cause this tragedy. Unfortunately it is real and almost 200 countries, international organizations, the United Nations with all its commitments to women and childrens’ rights, are watching. It is unacceptable," Baykal said.

No peace for anyone
Baykal said Israeli attacks were an attempt at mass destruction and suspected a secret or undisclosed deal. "Will Israel feel more secure? Will stability be established in the Middle East? There is no peace for anyone with these policies," Baykal said. "If the Prime Minister was informed of the attacks, his silence until the attacks and his uproar after are deprived of sincerity."

Turkey’s long-standing defense deals with Israel prove the Prime Minister’s artificiality, Baykal said. "Erdoğan criticized the modernization of Turkey’s M-60 MBTs by Israel. Turkey has a $167 million weapon procurement deal with Israel. Some defense experts claim that the total amount of the Turkey-Israel defense deal is $1.8 billion," Baykal said. "The Prime Minister is rolling, but not raining."

MHP Leader Devlet Bahçeli said the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip were "inhuman," and rebuffed Erdoğan’s diplomatic talks as meaningless. "The Prime Minister’s two pronged proposal of establishing a cease-fire and conciliation is hollow, it will serve no purpose," Bahçeli said. "Was the AKP aware of the attack plan? If it was, then the AKP is an accomplice in this crime." Not only the Western world that defends the Israeli attacks as self defense, but also the Arab and Muslim world, have failed the test, said Bahçeli. Despite Parliament's rejection of a proposed declaration, the CHP issued its own declaration that said a solution would only be possible with a free Palestine.

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