CHP joins charter bid: We would like to see the draft

CHP joins charter bid: We would like to see the draft

Abdulkadir Selvi - ANKARA
CHP joins charter bid: We would like to see the draft The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) wishes to see a constitutional draft to decide on its stance, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that his party was willing to discuss the draft with Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.

“Our door is always open. We have never closed our door to anybody. [If] they come, we will share our opinion. During Prime Minister Yıldırım’s earlier visit, we expressed our opposition to the presidential system,” Kılıçdaroğlu told reporters on Nov. 12 after his party convened a constitutional convention. 

Kılıçdaroğlu said it was not right to give a specific comment on their assessment of the content of the constitutional draft or the scope of the presidential system that is included in it without having a chance to examine the draft first. 

“It might be a text which does not include a presidential system. It might be a text which we could also support. There might not be any presidential system; they might have prepared a text which strengthens a parliamentary system. How could we say no to this?” he said, reiterating the CHP’s principal stance to defend the strengthening of the parliamentary system while rejecting any presidential system. 

“If there is a presidential system, we will also examine that. What kind of presidency is this? Is it a presidential system which brings Turkey to the verge of a division?” he added.

His comments came after Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli gathered with Yıldırım on Nov. 10 to discuss the constitutional draft the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has prepared aiming at a shift to a presidential system. 

“Bahçeli and Yıldırım might have discussed a specific text; we don’t know. It is wrong to talk about a text that we don’t know about. Bahçeli might have been given a text; they might be discussed and have talked about certain principles – we don’t know that,” he said. 

“It is not certain how it is. We have to see how it is,” he said.

After the MHP and AKP met, Yıldırım also called on the CHP to join the discussions, despite the main opposition party’s criticism to the proposal for a regime change. 

Kılıçdaroğlu said no official request has yet come for a meeting with Yıldırım, arguing that he thought the AKP would ask for a meeting if the ruling party secured an agreement with the MHP.

“There haven’t been any requests for a meeting from [Yıldırım] yet. In my opinion, if they will secure an agreement, then they will come to us saying, ‘We have agreed on [the charter], support us,’” he said. 

‘Şimşek’s statement correct’

Kılıçdaroğlu also recalled Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek’s earlier assessment on the deteriorating relations between the EU and Turkey in which he said “the world would see a Turkey detached from the EU as a third-world country.” 

Kılıçdaroğlu said any regime change might reinforce an authoritarian image of Turkey and its consequences would be drastic. 

“There is an image of Turkey which shifts from the law to authoritarianism. If you reinforce this image instead of changing it, its consequences will be drastic. I think Binali Yıldırım is aware of that. I think the minister, Mehmet Şimşek, is also aware of that. He had a very clear declaration. His statements are true,” he said. 

“They are considering a regime change,” he added. “It will cause further troubles.”