As it happened: Erdoğan calls for coalition government in his first speech in almost four days
Turkey's President Tayyip Erdoğan kisses a handmade Turkish flag, given to him as a gift from Ugandan university student Cemil (R), during a graduation ceremony in Ankara, Turkey, June 11, 2015. REUTERS/Umit BektasTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has made his first speech in almost four days since the general election, calling on all parties to act "responsibly" to form a coalition government.
The Justice and Development Party (AKP), which Erdoğan co-founded, is continuing talks with other parties on forming a coalition after it unexpectedly lost its parliamentary majority in the June 7 polls.
Erdoğan stayed uncharacteristically off air for more than three days and 22 hours - an unprecedented length of time considering his relentless TV speeches in the months before the general election.
He had been appearing on Turkish TV stations as often as three times a day during the campaign season, but has not done so since giving a brief, deliberately non-partisan speech while voting in Istanbul on June 7.
The president met Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on June 8 and held a surprise meeting with the Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) most senior deputy-elect, Deniz Baykal, on June 10, but he has up to now kept his media silence apart from short written statements.
12:59 - Erdoğan ends his speech by thanking the audience.
12:58 - "God willing, those who dream of chaos in Turkey will be disappointed," Erdoğan says, adding that he found the "Western media's" criticism of him before the elections "ugly." "This means that, thank God, we are on the right path," he says.
12:57 - "Everyone must respect the will of the people," Erdoğan says, inviting all political parties to act responsibly to preserve stability and to continue investments.
12:54 - "My responsibility as Turkey's first popularly elected president is even bigger and I know this," Erdoğan says, stressing that the new parliamentary arithmetics "do not mean that Turkey will remain without a government."
12:52 - Switching to domestic politics, he says "Egos should be set aside and a [coalition] government should be formed as soon as possible."
12:51 - Erdoğan criticized the "global system" for causing the income gap between international students' countries. He also slammed "the West" for destabilizing Syria by "supporting" the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and its Syrian affiliate the PYD.
12:40 - Opening his speech by congratulating international graduates in Turkey and Turkish graduates around the world, Erdoğan refers to scholarship funds provided by Ankara during his term as prime minister. "The number of scholarships that Turkey has issued has risen from 24,000 students to more than 70,000," he says.
12:30 - "I greet you with all my heart." The ticking counter showing how long since Erdoğan was last on-air on Turkish TV finally stops.
12:01 - President Erdoğan arrives in the ATO Congresium Hall in Ankara for his first speech in almost four days.