Arab Monitor, Italy
Feb 1 2009

Turkey's opposition divided over Prime Minister Erdogan's performance
in Davos

Ankara, 31 January ` Several opposition parties in Turkey, namely
those concerned about Turkey's relations with the European Union and
its military alliance with Israel, criticized Prime Minister Recep
Tayyip Erdogan's behaviour at the Gaza session during the forum in
Davos, fearing it will damage Turkey. Mustafa Ozurek, chairman of the
Republican People's Party, said Erdogan's outburst of anger, rather
than the content of his words, would cause a setback in Turkey's
capacity to act as mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian and the
Israeli-Syrian negotiations. Deniz Bolukbashi, a parliamentarian from
the Nationalist Movement Party, also criticized the Prime Minister for
his allegedly impulsive and uncontrolled behaviour, while Zeki Sezer,
chairman of the Democratic Left Party, although slamming the Israeli
President Shimon Peres' speech as that of a warmonger, also voiced out
his concern that Erdogan's abrupt walk-out on the conference session
was likely to rule out the possibility that Turkey assesses itself as
mediator in the region.

However, other opposition leaders showered Prime Minister Erdogan with
praise for his behaviour at the crucial Gaza session in Davos. Devlet
Bahceli, chairman of the Nationalist Movement Party, released a
written statement in which he conceded that Prime Minister Erdogan's
outburst of anger might have been improper, but his storming out of
the session was right, explaining: `The rhetoric and the approach of
both the moderator and the Israeli President in the session towards
Erdogan, who represents the Republic of Turkey, is an act of arrogance
that is unacceptable by our nation". He added: "Therefore it is now
time to show a national stance on the issues such as fight against
terror and protecting the Turkmens (in Iraq) as well as in the
relations with Armenia against the so-called genocide claims, with the
Greek Cypriots in the fight for the identity of Turkish Cypriots, with
the European Union against the list of concessions and impositions and
with the U.S. for the regional threats and coercions". news=26082&lang=en
From: Baghdasarian