Turkey, Politics, July 15 coup bid

Turkish PM slams opposition leader over coup remarks

Main opposition CHP chairman says July 15 coup attempt was 'controlled' by government

Turkish PM slams opposition leader over coup remarks


By Emin Avundukluoglu


Prime Minister Binali Yildirim slammed on Monday the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader over his 'controlled coup' remarks referring to last year's failed attempt.

"Did we knowingly send those people to death? Is this what Kilicdaroglu means?" Yildirim said in an interview aired live on state-run TRT Haber news network.

CHP chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu, earlier on Monday, reiterated his previous claims that the July 15 coup attempt was a "controlled coup" and the government knew about it in advance.

"Can a man, who has a good head on his shoulders, say something like this? If he says something like that then he should prove it," Yildirim said. "Which ruler of a country openly sends his nation to death?"

The premier compared Kilicdaroglu to the coup plotters, saying he was no different, and called on him to prove his claims.

According to the Turkish government, the Fetullah Terrorist Organization and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 2016, which left 249 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara has also said FETO is behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

In wake of the putsch attempt, tens of thousands of FETO suspects have been arrested, including many in the armed forces, police, judicial system, education and business sectors.

- Turkey can carry out same method in Raqqah

Yildirim also commented on a planned offensive to recapture the Iraqi city of Raqqah, Daesh's self-proclaimed capital.

Noting that Turkey had gained valuable experience during the recently ended Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria, which cleared Al-Bab of terrorists, Yildirim said the operation was a "successful example," and the same method could be employed in Raqqah.

Launched in late August last year, and carried out by the support of Free Syrian Army fighters, the operation aimed to improve security, support coalition forces and eliminate the terror threat along the Turkish border. It ended on March 29.

Yildirim reiterated Turkey's stance against enlisting the help of a terrorist group to fight another, referring to U.S. support to PYD/PKK terrorist organization in northern Syria.

The premier said it was a wrong move by the U.S. to use PYD/PKK to defeat Daesh. "This opens an irreparable wound in our friendship."

Although the PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU, the U.S. considers PKK's Syrian offshoot, PYD and its armed wing YPG, as "reliable partners" in the region in the fight against Daesh. Neither the EU nor the U.S. regard PYD or YPG as its offshoots.

- Turkey to be on Iraqi Turkmen's side in northern Iraq

Earlier on Monday, Yildirim received President of the Iraqi Turkmen Front Arshad al-Salihi at the Cankaya Palace.

Yildirim said that Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region's "so-called independence referendum" was unacceptable, adding Turkey would continue to stand by the Iraqi Turkmen.

Yildirim also called on the Iraqi Turkmen to stand united against the fait accompli in the region.

Last Thursday, Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani said an independence referendum would be held in the "near future".

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