CHP, HDP parliament spokespersons boycott presidential visit

CHP, HDP parliament spokespersons boycott presidential visit

CHP, HDP parliament spokespersons boycott presidential visit

Cihan Photo

The members of the Parliament Spokespersons Board from two opposition parties have boycotted a courtesy visit to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan because it took place at the controversial presidential palace. 

Deputy parliament speakers Şafak Pavey from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Yurdusev Özsökmenler from the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), as well as these two parties’ members of the Parliament Spokespersons Board, were absent at the delegation led by Parliamentary Speaker İsmet Yılmaz. 

Deputy parliament speakers Mehmet Naci Bostancı from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Koray Aydın from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) represented their parties at the visit July 27. 

Although all three opposition parties have long criticized Erdoğan over his grandiose and costly presidential palace, it was only MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli who approved his lawmakers’ attendance at the palace. 

The new board was elected on July 9 after the election of Yılmaz as parliamentary speaker. 

Parliament to convene July 28

In the meantime, Yılmaz called on all parties to be present at parliament on July 29 at 3 p.m. for an extraordinary session over the recent developments and Turkey’s military operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). 

The session will be held upon the CHP’s application that called the government to inform parliament over recent terror acts claiming the lives of dozens, especially in the Southeast Anatolia region. 

The main opposition’s intention is to create a parliamentary inquiry commission to examine the terror attacks of the last week committed by ISIL in Suruç and the PKK in Ceylanpınar, both in the province of Şanlıurfa, as well as in Diyarbakır.  

The AKP and MHP, however, are unwilling to form an inquiry commission at the moment. Bahçeli argues that the formation of such a commission would work to the advantage of the PKK and the HDP. 

The votes of the CHP and the HDP do not suffice to launch an inquiry commission as it requires a simple majority of 550 lawmakers. The two parties have 212 seats between them.