Parliament convenes in special session for April 23
Parliament convened for a special session as part of April 23 National Sovereignty and Children’s Day under the leadership of its speaker, Mustafa Şentop, and with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Citing the role of parliament in Turkey’s Independence War that lead to the foundation of the republic under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Şentop described the General Assembly as a place where all different segments of the Turkish society meet under one roof.
“Searches for ways other than democracy and rhetoric that excludes dialogue and civil politics in a country like Turkey with a rooted tradition of elections and democracy mean undermining the future of this country,” he said.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also addressed parliament, criticizing the current presidential system. “I have to express with sorrow that the Turkish Parliament transferred many of its authorities to the presidency and abandoned its role of inspecting the government. The current system has undermined the principle of the separation of powers as well,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Asked why he left, Erdoğan said: “Why should I not? Shall I listen to those who don’t sing our National Anthem? Shall I listen to those who martyr my soldiers?”
Erdoğan accuses the HDP of having direct links to the PKK, a group Ankara lists as terrorist.