Turkey's main opposition leader calls for emergency CHP meeting over East Med tensions

(Updated with MYK statement in the last three paragraphs)

The leader of Turkey’s main opposition party, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, has called for an emergency Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting to discuss the latest developments in the eastern Mediterranean, where Turkey and Greece are at loggerheads over hydrocarbon resources.

The Republican People’s Party (CHP) is looking to evaluate the latest developments in the region in an extraordinary MYK meeting, Gerçek Gündem news site reported on Sunday, citing a statement by the CHP press office.

Kılıçdaroğlu’s call arrives as Turkey on Sunday withdrew seismic research vessel Oruç Reis from contested waters in the eastern Mediterranean, returning to waters near the southern province of Antalya amid brewing tensions in the region between Athens and Ankara over hydrocarbon resources.  

The CHP has gone on record to criticise the government for its foreign policy in the region, saying the AKP was dragging the country into a crisis.

Last month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused the CHP of siding with Athens in the dispute and “taking on the tone of (critical) Greek media.’’

Later on Sunday, the party's executive board released a statement calling on the AKP fight against giving up the nation's deserved rights. The board also accused the governing party of exploiting foreign policy to make gains in the domestic politics.

The MYK statement said that the CHP sees the withdrawal of seismic vessel Oruç Reis as a ''concession.''  

Even though there is a clear need for foreign affairs to be conducted as policies of the state, it said, Turkey had become a one-man show, which excluded the Turkish Foreign Ministry and bureaucracy.

Moreover, the CHP sees the recent protocols between the United States and the South Cyprus as well as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's remarks on the region as a source of a big source of concern, it said.