Davutoğlu slams CHP for ‘disrespecting’ President Erdoğan
Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu greets members of the parliament from his ruling AKP at the Turkish parliament in Ankara on Sept. 1. AFP Photo / Adem AltanPrime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has harshly criticized the main opposition party’s decision not to attend President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s inauguration ceremony last week, saying it shows “disrespect to the elected head of the nation” and describing the situation as “a major crisis on behalf of the main opposition.”
“There is a serious problem with the main opposition. What kind of understanding of democracy is this? The people have made their choice. But representatives from 95 countries came and honored our president, so who cares if the head of the Republican People’s Party [CHP] talks or does not talk?” Davutoğlu told his Justice and Development Party (AKP) group Sapt. 1 in his first meeting since he was elected as the new AKP chairman.
“I tell you from now. [CHP head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu] will be obliged to communicate with the president. No one has the right to be irrational with the Turkish president,” he said.
Kılıçdaroğlu boycotted Erdoğan’s oath-taking ceremony at Parliament and has said he will only talk to the president if absolutely necessary, for example if Turkey goes to war. He was also absent at the presidential reception on the occasion of Victory Day celebrations in Ankara, making clear that he will not be a frequent visitor to the Presidential Palace.
Davutoğlu also slammed CHP Deputy Parliamentary Group Head Engin Altay’s reaction against Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek on the day of Erdoğan’s inauguration, saying Altay had “no right” to make his case before the General Assembly. After he was not granted permission to speak at the assembly, Altay made headlines by hurling a booklet at Çiçek.
“He hurled a booklet on the Constitution either upon Kılıçdaroğlu’s instructions or as an impulsive act. He showed disrespect not only to the book, but also the office of the Parliament speaker and the presidency,” Davutoğlu said, adding that the AKP would not remain silent in the face of such “offenses” against the country’s top offices.
Calling the CHP deputy “a psychiatric case,” Davutoğlu suggested Altay and other CHP deputies should spend 24 hours in a second-hand bookseller for “psychological treatment.”
The AKP’s new head also once again called on the party to keep its unity and integrity and not allow a friction or cracks to emerge within it. He stressed that the government has “not even a minute of a spare time” and asked his lawmakers to work “25 hours if one day is not enough.”
After Davutoğlu’s speech, the AKP group voted to elect the successor of former deputy parliamentary group chair, Nurettin Canikli, who replaced outgoing Customs and Trade Minister Hayati Yazıcı in the latest Cabinet reshuffle. Some 263 of the 265 deputies who participated in the voting voted for Amasya deputy Naci Bostancı to take over from Canikli.
Mustafa Elitaş, Mahir Ünal, Belma Satır and Ahmet Aydın are currently acting as the AKP’s other deputy parliamentary group chairs.