CHP leader claims Syrian refugee camp illegal

TODAY’S ZAMAN, ISTANBUL
Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal K?l?çdaro?lu has claimed that the Turkish government is covertly arming and training Syrian opposition members at the Apayd?n refugee camp, located in Turkey’s Hatay province near the border with Syria.

K?l?çdaro?lu, who visited the city of Sivas on Tuesday as part of a program to mark the 93rd anniversary of the Sivas Congress — one in a series of gatherings of Turkish patriots against occupying forces before the start of Turkey’s War of Independence – said: “Armed training takes place at this camp, and those who are trained here move on to Syria and take part in clashes. This has openly marred Turkey’s reputation in the international arena. The Republic of Turkey is not a pirate state.”

The CHP’s weekly Central Executive Committee (MYK) meeting was held in Sivas on Tuesday in honor of the congress’s 93rd anniversary. K?l?çdaro?lu made his remarks in response to a question from the press regarding his earlier statements that the issue of the Apayd?n camp should be taken to the Supreme State Council, the name the Constitutional Court assumes when trying prime ministers, presidents and ministers.
On Tuesday, K?l?çdaro?lu said that there is no parliamentary decision to allow members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to use Hatay as a base. “Since when is the executive bypassing Parliament? Since when is the Constitution an invalid rule of law?” he asked.

Recently, it was posted for a brief period on the FSA’s website that it was based in Hatay, Turkey. The statement was later removed, with Turkish officials declining to comment on the incident.

K?l?çdaro?lu also recalled that a group of visiting CHP deputies had been denied entry to the camp, but were later allowed in after Foreign Minister Ahmet Davuto?lu gave his permission. “How can the Foreign Ministry say, ‘You need my permission’? How can you block [members of the] legislative?” He claimed the deputies, who were finally allowed in on Tuesday, were shown a camp after “measures” were taken.

He said the existence of Apayd?n was illegal and a violation of all UN and other international conventions.

In a related event, CHP Kocaeli deputy Hur?it Güne? called a press conference on Tuesday, stating that he planned to submit a parliamentary inquiry motion when Parliament resumes work in October regarding the Apayd?n camp. “Why was it [the visit] not allowed before but allowed later? This should be illuminated,” Güne? said.


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