CHP parliamentary group deputy chairman Muharrem İnce

From Ali Aslan Kilic, ZamanTurkey’s decision to host an early-warning radar portion of a NATO missile defense system has become a topic for domestic politics, with the two main opposition parties accusing the government of protecting other countries’ interests and not Turkey’s national interests. . . .

“It was said that ‘the target is not Iran’; it is very obvious that Iran is the target. If it is not Iran, is the target Papua New Guinea?” CHP parliamentary group deputy chairman Muharrem İnce asked sarcastically at a press conference on Wednesday. “The [ruling] AK Party [Justice and Development Party] is a party which on the one hand threatens Israel while on the other protects Israel from Iran,” İnce said.

MHP parliamentary group deputy chairman Oktay Vural was another politician who was not satisfied with the government’s explanation on the issue.

“The government has to explain to us where the threat is coming from and the necessity of such an involvement in the missile defense system. Both NATO and US sources are saying that the system is being formed in response to threats from Iran. Unfortunately, the government is not giving us any explanation on these issues,” Vural told Sunday’s Zaman.

“We don’t believe it appropriate for Turkey to take such a step without any questioning. This system is directly designed as a shield against missile systems targeting Israel. Taking this step without informing the public sufficiently shows that Turkey’s foreign policy is now not centered in Ankara but instead that the government is assuming a foreign policy based on international interests. If a threat really stems from Iran, the government should clearly explain the extent of this threat. The government’s decision will make Turkey a target for missiles. We are convinced that the government’s move is related to Washington’s interests rather than Turkey’s security and that this step is being taken in line with Israeli demands,” Vural said.

“The government should make clear whether it sees Iran or Israel as a threat. We will have to see all together the consequences of a policy that sees Iran as a threat,” he added.  (photo: Zaman)