Turkey is unified against the U.S. amid the recent sanctions with opposition figures showing support to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government on the matter, emphasizing that the well-being of the country is the priority for everyone regardless of their ideologies.
The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) expressed yesterday that they will not let Turkey be belittled by anyone.
"We will not let the Turkish republic be denigrated. We will not let [anyone] disregard the honor of our country. We will stand against this [U.S. sanctions] alongside the will of our people," said the party's spokesperson Faik Öztrak.
Muharrem İnce, who was the presidential candidate of the CHP in the June 24 elections and more recently leader of a dissident movement within the party against the current Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, also called for his fellow party members to side with the government yesterday while expressing that he is also supporting the government against the U.S.
"It is not the time for sitting back and watching what happens while thinking 'let them stew in their own pot,'" said İnce, adding that everyone who feels responsible for his or her country should come up with solutions to get through the crisis. İnce called for the CHP to remember that it is the main opposition party and for it to form a "crisis committee."
"We have to make our stance clear against the international community, especially toward the U.S. opposition that has an aggressive attitude toward us," he said, indicating that although he is against some policies of the government, he has to declare that he is there for the benefit of Turkish society no matter what.
Kılıçdaroğlu also said Saturday that every tweet that U.S. President Donald Trump posts damages that honor of the public of Turkey.
Last week, Trump announced a doubling of steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkish imports. The incident happened days after a Turkish delegation returned from Washington with no progress on the detention of pastor Andrew Brunson, whose detention on Oct. 7, 2016 for suspected links to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and the PKK became the initial reason behind the crisis between the two countries.
Trump's move resulted in an immediate reaction from Turkey, with many government officials criticizing and calling for common sense to come to terms.
Previously, the chairwoman of the far-right Good Party (İP), Meral Akşener, said on Aug. 10 that she is with the Turkish government and the public against the U.S., calling for a unified stance.
"We are ready to work together for a solution to the crisis," said Akşener, adding that we are all in the same boat, namely the Turkish republic.
Known for his critical political stance, Turkish Bar Association (TBB) President Metin Feyzioğlu also said when it comes to outside threats to Turkey, everyone should be unified.
"A world power is threatening Turkey. In this case, all of the 81 million people of the country should be unified. Turkish people and the Turkish state will be the ones to solve this problem," said Feyzioğlu, while adding that both the Justice Minister and Interior Minister that have had sanctions imposed on them by the U.S. are the ministers of Turkey.
"We can criticize them when they follow the wrong policies in domestic matters, but if some people use our ministers to damage our country, than we will react with very harsh words," he said.
Washington sanctioned Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül over the Brunson case - a move reciprocated by Turkey, who in retaliation froze the Turkish assets of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.
OPPOSITION MEDIA OUTLETS CALL FOR UNITY AGAINST U.S.Media outlets known for their stark, critical position toward the government, also showed their support in this case by calling for a firm attitude against the Trump administration.
Sözcü daily, known for its critical stance toward the government, called for Ankara to shut down the U.S.' İncirlik air base and freeze Trump's assets in the country through a harsh headline on Sunday. The daily also expressed that all segments of Turkish society reacted against the U.S. sanctions and demanded retaliation. In the June 24 elections, İnce also had vowed to close down İncirlik as an election promise.
On Twitter, a #İncirlikKapatılsın (shut down İncirlik) hashtag was started and used by thousands of social media accounts since the beginning of the crisis. In addition to the hashtags related to İncirlik, there have been many other social media hashtags against America and Trump used by thousands of users who are furious over the matter. The latest popular hashtag emerged yesterday, #ABDyeReklamVerme (do not give advertisement to the U.S.), calling for people to not use U.S. products. Another hashtag, #ABDyeBoyunEğmeyeceğiz (We will not bow down to the U.S.), was among the trending topics in the country. "Let's put an end to fooling ourselves. The U.S. is not our strategic ally. It is our strategic enemy," Doğu Perinçek, the chairman of the Patriotic Party (VP), wrote on his official Twitter account and shared it with the #ABDyeBoyunEğmeyeceğiz hashtag.
Cumhuriyet daily, another daily often critical of the government, also drew attention to the reactions from all around the world to Trump's move to show that the world is siding with Turkey in the matter.
While traditionally anti-Americanism was popular among the marginal left or conservative groups in the country, recently it has become more mainstream as many groups criticize the U.S. stance on FETÖ and the PKK's Syrian affiliate, the People's Protection Units (YPG). According to research by Optimar Research Company from February 2018, 71.9 percent of the participants expressed that they see themselves as anti-American, while 22.7 percent expressed that they are partially anti-American. The survey was conducted with 508 people from 26 provinces across Turkey. Other research conducted by AGS Global with the participation of 393 working people showed that 66 percent of the people held a negative view of the U.S., while only 13 percent expressed that they have a positive opinion about the country.
According to a survey done by Kadir Has University in Istanbul, 60.2 percent saw the U.S. as the top country posing threats to Turkey. The survey titled "Public Perceptions on Turkish Foreign Policy" was conducted by the Center for Turkish Studies at Kadir Has University.
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