EP disregards CHP deputy's claim of Turkey's links to DAESH

MERVE AYDOĞAN @mgulaydogan
ANKARA
Published 15.04.2016 20:19

With the release of the European Parliament's progress report on Turkey, allegations made by main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Eren Erdem that accused the Turkish state of supplying chemical gas to DAESH were disregarded and removed by European Parliament members following an amendment made to the draft report on Thursday.

Erdem appeared on a Russian television program in December 2015 and accused the Turkish state of supplying chemical gas to DAESH in the wake of the downing of a Russian military jet. On "Russia Today" Erdem said: "Chemical materials were brought to Turkey and put together in Syria at DAESH camps, which was then known as Iraqi al-Qaeda at the time. We have recordings to confirm this. The public prosecutor opened an investigation, which led to those involved being detained. A week later, another public prosecutor was assigned, and the detainees were released and they left Turkey, crossing the border." He added, "The [Bashar] Assad regime did not have sarin gas, and the sarin gas bombings were used to place the guilt on the regime."

Syrian opposition activists had accused the Assad regime of firing poisonous gas at areas southwest of Damascus, which was previously the target of a chemical weapons attack. An Amnesty International report published in March 2015 said: "Assad regime forces have wiped out an entire family in a chlorine gas attack and many, other civilians were reportedly exposed to the toxic gas."

Commenting on Erdem's accusations, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said, "Erdem must not be included in Parliament following treason" and called on the CHP to dismiss Erdem as a deputy. CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said Erdem was receiving unfair criticism and that no CHP deputy would be sacked.

European Parliament members disregarded the accusations and removed the article in the first draft of its Turkey progress report and the final report did not include it. Commenting on the amendment, European Parliament Turkey rapporteur Kati Piri said on her social media account, "Claims cannot be made based on individual deputies' statements."

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