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Turkey’s main opposition party calls on gov’t to contact Syrian regime amid military offensive

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Engin Özkoç, the group deputy chairman of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), on Thursday urged the government to establish diplomatic channels with the Syrian government in order to resolve conflicts, the Gazete Duvar news website reported.

Speaking at a press briefing after an urgent meeting of CHP executives, Özkoç commented on Operation Peace Spring, which the Turkish government launched on Wednesday against Kurdish militants in northeastern Syria.

“Our stance is clear. You must get in touch with the legitimate government of Syria immediately and prevent further bloodshed,” Özkoç said. “This is the way to settle political issues.”

“The US is yelling at you and your government says nothing. Top it all off you are defending Trump, who belittled your country by claiming that he says all those things due to domestic problems,” he went on to say, referring to US President Donald Trump’s recent tweets in which he promised to destroy Turkey’s economy in the event of a Turkish attempt to wipe out the Kurdish armed groups in northeastern Syria.

“In Idlib, the regions he claims to have rescued are now havens for terrorists,” Özkoç said. “Our soldiers stationed in observation towers there are being guarded by Russia.”

He also criticized the government for not informing the Turkish parliament about the operation.

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