Opposition members of spokespersons board refuse visit to presidential palace
Reuters PhotoThe members of the Parliament Spokespersons Board from the three oppositional parties have refused to pay a courtesy visit to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan because it would take place at the controversial presidential palace, daily Hürriyet reported July 12.
The crisis erupted after newly elected Parliament Speaker İsmet Yılmaz called 18 members of the Spokespersons Board to join him in a courtesy visit to Erdoğan on the occasion of the completion of the elections for the board. The board has eight members from the Justice and Development Party (AKP), four from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and three from both the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
Yılmaz voiced his intention at his first meeting with the board on July 11 and asked them to fix a date to request an appointment with the presidency. However, both the CHP and HDP members of the board voiced their objection to the idea of paying such visit to the presidency.
“We will all flee tomorrow,” the HDP’s Sırrı Süreyya Önder said while joking at the meeting, meaning they would not join Yılmaz’s delegation.
Yılmaz suggested establishing a team made of just one member from all four parties to visit Erdoğan but no decision could be made at the board’s meeting. The visit could take place if Erdoğan accepts to meet the board at his residence outside the presidential palace; otherwise the visit would take place with only the participation of its eight AKP members.