Felicity leader Karamollaoğlu set to meet Abdullah Gül amid alliance talks
Felicity Party (SP) Chairman Temel Karamollaoğlu is set to meet Turkey’s former President Abdullah Gül on April 25, amid continued opposition shuttle diplomacy aiming to strike alliances and find candidates to run against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the late June presidential and parliamentary elections.
Karamollaoğlu, the leader of the SP, which is on the traditional religious conservative end of Turkey’s political spectrum, had already held talks with the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the İYİ (Good) Party before his scheduled meeting with Gül.
Gül, one of founding leaders of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) along with Erdoğan, had served as Turkey’s 11th president between 2007 and 2014. His last years in office frequently marked important disagreements with Erdoğan, who was running consecutive AKP governments at the time. Gül is believed to have some backing among conservative and moderate political groups but he has not yet given any signal for his potential nomination.
In earlier remarks, Karamollaoğlu underlined that the decision of his party could be announced later this week.
On April 21, Karamollaoğlu brought together his party’s general executive board members for a meeting in the capital Ankara. The members discussed the roadmap the party will follow during the election campaign process, with Karamollaoğlu reportedly instructing them to determine the names of the candidates to be nominated for the parliamentary elections.
The SP has also sped up its polling work, asking respondents “which party the SP should form an alliance with” and “which alliance appealed to them most.” They were also asked about their opinions on suggested names for the presidential elections, including Gül.
Parliament on April 20 approved a joint proposal of the AKP and its ally the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) to hold snap elections on June 24, a year-and-a-half before the originally scheduled date.
Meanwhile, Gül also held a meeting with Turkey’s former prime and foreign minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on April 23, daily Hürriyet reported. The meeting reportedly went on for one hour.
The two men have been in regular contact since leaving their official posts in government, sources said, but the timing of the April 23 meeting has drawn attention ahead of the snap election.
Sources say Davutoğlu has decided not to run in parliament in the upcoming parliamentary elections, and he was also not present during the AKP’s parliamentary group meeting on April 24.