CHP’s Koc: Erdogan’s irresponsible remarks put Turkey in trouble

Speaking during a press conference on Sunday at the CHP headquarters in Ankara, Koc said that the language Erdogan uses toward his opponents does not reflect Turkey’s traditional statesmanship and does not suit the seriousness of the presidency, being more similar to troll accounts on social media.

Responding to Erdogan’s recent remarks accusing the CHP of being pro-Russia after a crisis broke out between the two countries due to the downing of a Russian jet by Turkey on Nov. 24, Koc underlined that no one in the CHP has links with Russian President Vladimir Putin or is pro-Russia. He noted that it is Erdogan who had close relations with Putin, and that he even asked for his support to take Turkey into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

“A president must embrace all of [the country’s] citizens without discriminating based on their religion, race, political views and economic class in the society; in addition, he must be neutral to all political parties because of the [constitutionally required] principle of impartiality,” Koc said.

“However, the language used by Erdogan, and his unnecessary involvement in all political issues, have been increasing tension among social groups in Turkey and also creating a diplomatic crisis abroad,” he added.

‘AK Party is unable to use correct channels to ease tensions with Russia’

According to Koc, Turkey had the right to protect its airspace after a Russian jet purportedly violated Turkish airspace despite several warnings and he noted that the CHP has supported the view that all nations must respect that. However, since the incident, ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government has failed to use the correct diplomatic channels to ease the tension with Russia, he said.

“Despite having received 49.5 percent of the vote in the Nov. 1 snap election and forming a single party government, the AK Party government is unable to successfully govern the Turkish state,” Koc said.

Underlining that the crisis between the two countries will have adverse consequences for both the Turkish and Russian people, Koc said that the CHP, as the main opposition party, wants the AK Party government to ease tensions in order to find the right solution to the crisis. “Unfortunately, the Turkish nation will have to pay [for the mistakes of the AK Party],” he added.