The leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) expressed his support for Turkey’s military operation into Iraqi Kurdistan, after he had remained silent about it for one day.
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said in his tweet on Monday:
“Our prayers are with our valiant army in the Claw-Lock military operation conducted in northern Iraq. We pray that God does not let any harm fall upon our Mehmetçik [soldiers] in this holy month [Ramadan].”
The Turkish military incursions in the region have resulted in the occupation of large areas of Iraqi terrain within the last six years, as 42 Turkish military bases were established, according to a report by Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) in September 2021. Thousands of Turkish troops are deployed in these bases, with 80 armed surveillance drones operating around the bases.
Turkish attacks have continuously targeted civilians, killing at least 116, and led to the evacuation of 148 villages and the displacement of thousands. The total number of villages that were evacuated since the beginning of Turkey’s military operations in 1990s was put at 504 in a local news report in 2020.
Ebru Günay, spokesperson for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) responded to Kılıçdaroğlu on Twitter, saying:
“Erdoğan is trying to make the opposition fall in line through hostility against the Kurds. He’s trying to legitimise, by this war, everything he did earlier. Will you look at how the opposition leader responds? Is this your solution to the Kurdish question? The solution to the Kurdish question and the democratic future of Turkey shall not be reached through a path of killing and being killed. The sacred thing to do in the holy month of Ramadan is to defend life and bring a peaceful resolution instead of shedding blood and causing deaths.”