Responding to recent Turkish losses in Syria, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu told Anadolu Agency on Friday: "The news of our soldiers being martyred saddens us terribly."
Sixteen Turkish soldiers were martyred this week in Syria's Al-Bab, Defense Minister Fikri Isik confirmed on Thursday.
"But if Turkey started this operation [Operation Euphrates Shield] to secure its own future, we need to endure the pain," Kilicdaroglu added.
Expressing condolences to both the families of recently martyred Turkish soldiers in Syria and those martyred in Turkey fighting the PKK, Kilicdaroglu said he hoped the number of casualties would not increase.
Criticizing current Turkish foreign policy, Kilicdaroglu claimed that steps were not being taken based on a "national" approach but he added that Ankara's response to the ongoing crisis in Syria was now much better:
"There is a belated improvement in foreign policy, especially over Syria. The administration started to use the rhetoric of 'respect for the territorial integrity of Syria'. We [the CHP] were saying this for years."
Kilicdaroglu added he hoped Turkey would reach its previous "respected" position in the Middle East.
Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield began in late August to improve security, support coalition forces and eliminate the terror threat along the country’s southern border by working with Free Syrian Army fighters backed by Turkish artillery and jets.
According to Defense Minister Isik, over 1,000 Daesh terrorists have been killed since the beginning of the Euphrates Shield operation.