CHP leader prepared to visit presidential palace

CHP leader prepared to visit presidential palace

Erdal Sağlam - AYDIN
CHP leader prepared to visit presidential palace

AA photo

The leader of Turkey’s main opposition party has said he was prepared to visit the controversial presidential palace in the case of a national security issue or being elected as the new ruling party in the Nov. 1 snap elections.

“We would go there if there is a task outlined by the laws. We would go if a very extraordinary situation concerning Turkey comes up,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of Republican People’s Party (CHP), said on Oct. 21 en route from Ankara to the Aegean province of Aydın.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently lashed out at the opposition for criticizing his gargantuan presidential palace, dubbed the “unregistered palace,” saying they would eventually visit the palace submissively like “lambs.” 

“God forbid, when a war breaks out, you cannot say, ‘I won’t go to the palace.’ We will go there to heed the interests of the country,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. “The task will be handed over like lambs,” he added.

Erdoğan did not hand the CHP the mandate, hence a chance, to form a coalition government, after the failure of talks with the Justice and Development Party (AKP) following the June 7 elections. The CHP then accused him of violating the constitution. Erdoğan responded, saying he could not meet Kılıçdaroğlu because the CHP leader refused to set foot in his gigantic presidential palace that opened last year amid huge controversy.

As of Oct. 17, challenging opposition leaders’ decision to avoid visiting the controversial palace in protest, Erdoğan said, “Sooner or later, you will come like lambs.” 

“It appears that he [Erdoğan] hands the mandate [to the CHP] like lambs. The election results [of Nov. 1] will oblige him to do so. He is trying to lay the ground for that in his own style,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on Oct. 19.