Turkish Opposition Leader: Don't Get Turkey Stuck in the "Middle East Quagmire"
July 30, 2012 • 9:39PM

The government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to come under fire for his backing of the Syrian opposition. The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) warned that the government should avoid the "Middle Eastern quagmire." "The sovereign powers of the West are preparing the ground to get Turkey to enter into Syria for an armed conflict. If Turkey enters, getting out will be very difficult. I'm warning the government about this," CHP chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu told the English-language Hürriyet Daily News in an interview. He also warned that the government's "policy on Syria has fully collapsed. It's a shortsighted policy and it is influenced by other countries' policies.

Kilicdaroglu said developments in the field had proven his charge that the government is functioning as a sub-contractor for Western powers.

"What is the purpose of foreign policy? It is to protect national interests. Has Turkey gained anything out of this so far? No. It has lost. One of its jets was downed with two of its pilots martyred. The statements of the Prime Minister no longer carry weight in the Middle East. Turkey has missed the train," Kilicdaroglu said.

He called Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu an "ignorant foreign minister" with no deep knowledge on foreign policy and political history. "I am sorry to say this, but I have to, it is my responsibility as head of the main opposition.... This is a very dramatic picture. Our foreign policy has hit the wall. These are the most fragile moments of our foreign policy.... Turkey's prime minister has become a subject of cartoons in the Arab media."

He was critical of Syrian President Bashar Assad, saying, "He will go if the violence escalates. No government can remain in power by resorting to violence. If you look at the historical process, you see no any power can be sustained in a spiral of violence."

Asked whether the CHP would support a government proposal to send troops into Syria, he replied, "It's not easy to say yes or no today. We have to see what will happen next, and in what circumstances they would introduce such a motion.... But we cannot accept blindly dragging Turkey into the Middle Eastern quagmire. Turkey's foreign policy has never been on the side of particular groups in the Middle East. To take a side in a fight is not a foreign policy," he said.

Kilicdaroglu also revealed there were calls for a massive rally to promote peace, which could be held in Gaziantep or Kilis in August after the end of Ramadan, which began about July 19 and runs until about Aug. 18.

Meanwhile, one Turkish intelligence source has told EIR that there is indeed a tremendous outcry among Turkish opposition circles and policymakers. Even within pro-government circles people are becoming nervous. Confidence in the Turkish Foreign Minister is even declining within the ruling Justice and Development Party, but up until now he continues to have the confidence of the Prime Minister.