CHP, MHP more in need of government than us: Davutoğlu
İsmet Berkan - SARAJEVO/ISTANBUL
Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks during a news conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, July 10, 2015. Reuters PhotoTurkey’s main social democratic party and its primary ultranationalist party have a greater need to form a coalition government than the Justice and Development Party (AKP), the prime minister has said, noting that his party would again win any snap polls.
“Think of it this way: there is a clear mathematical reality. Let’s assume that we went to early polls even though we tried to form a government on the basis of mutual trust. In all probability, it is the AK Party that is closest to forming a single-party government,” Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told journalists while returning from Sarajevo on July 12. “All three parties need to form a coalition government to become part of the government even if we go to polls. That’s why I said this: the AK Party is less [in need].”
Davutoğlu’s message came just a day before official talks with Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP). He will also go to the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on July 14 and the People’s Democracy Party (HDP) the day after.
Recalling comments that he needed to form a government as soon as possible because of a looming AKP general convention that must be concluded by the end of September, Davutoğlu said: “There can’t be anything more absurd than this. I have no any concern about the convention.”
There is speculation that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is mulling a change to the leadership of the AKP at the upcoming convention because of disagreements with Davutoğlu. “There may be differences of opinion with our president, but these would never come before our national interest,” he said.
Psychological barriers should be removed
The first round of talks will be helpful in observing whether opposition parties have a will to form a government, Davutoğlu said. “There may be will on their side, but it could be insufficient because of psychological obstacles. I would try to remove them first. Let’s assume that I have observed this will in more than one party in the first round. Then I will continue talks with these parties in the second round as well. Because what I am seeking is the best government for Turkey.”
When reminded of Kılıçdaroğlu’s statement that he would seek a seat in government in a coalition, Davutoğlu said: “A serious partnership requires walking together, taking all sorts of responsibility because we will talk about the future of Turkey.”
The prime minister underlined that he outlined 10 principles for a coalition government that were more or less similar to the 14 articles of the CHP that include the fight against corruption, judicial independence and other issues to which the social democrats give importance.
Negligence on Diyarbakır bombing
One important issue Davutoğlu mentioned was the negligence of state officials in preventing a deadly blast in Diyarbakır during a HDP rally on the eve of the June 7 elections, leaving four people dead.
“These claims of negligence are very serious. We are conducting a very comprehensive investigation into these claims. Let me put it openly: I will have no pity on whoever is responsible for this negligence after seeing the results of this investigation. I will do whatever necessary,” he said.