President urges political players to ‘put aside their egos’ for the sake of the country
DHA PhotoWhile breaking an unusual almost four-day long silence following the June 7 parliamentary election with a public address, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan cast himself in the role of a wise statesman, as he urged all political players in Turkey to leave aside their egos and prioritize the country’s interests with common sense.
“Everyone should put aside their egos along the constitutional and legal process and a government should be formed in our country as soon as possible,” Erdoğan said on June 11.
“This process should resume from where we stopped with an understanding of ‘Perpetuity in the state is essential,’” he said, in a speech delivered at a graduation ceremony for foreign students.
The relatively conciliatory tone of the speech was surprising to many, since his usually harsh rhetoric against opposition parties and aggressive campaigning in favor of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the run-up to the June 7 general election was still fresh in many minds.
“Those who leave Turkey without a government, without a head, and are condemned to their egos will neither be able to give account to history, nor to our people,” he declared.
Erdoğan’s messages came a day after he held a surprise meeting with the former leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Deniz Baykal. The surprise meeting led to speculation that the president was involved in plans to form a coalition between the AKP and the CHP, the top two parties in the election, after the former lost its parliamentary majority.
Erdoğan recalled he was elected as president in August 2014 during the country’s first-ever presidential election by popular vote, suggesting the form of his election had put a “much bigger responsibility” on his shoulders.
Referring to his meeting with Baykal, Erdoğan said he initiated the meeting out of this responsibility and preferred to meet Baykal because he was most senior deputy-elect.
As the elder of the house, Baykal will lead parliament’s first session following the election and he was officially meeting Erdoğan to discuss the reopening. But coalition alternatives came onto the agenda, according to what Baykal told reporters after the meeting.
Referring to his meeting with Baykal, Erdoğan said he assured during the meeting he would do his part to resume this process without any interruption.
The president particularly underlined ongoing economic investments and said any setback would harm those investments which belong to “the nation.”
Noting Turkey has sustained economic growth for 22 consecutive quarters, Erdoğan said preserving this performance and protecting the current environment of confidence is a “must” for Turkey.
“This is our biggest responsibility towards our 78 million people. No politician has the right to say ‘I,’ we have to say ‘We,’” he said.
“We have to attend the Antalya Summit of the G-20, the rotating presidency of which we have been holding, in a shape that has left uncertainty behind,” he said, referring to the G-20 Leaders’ Summit, which will be held in the Mediterranean city in November.