CHP to hold own reception for April 23
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
AA photoMain opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) group deputy chairman Özgür Özel said on April 18 the party would hold its own reception for National Sovereignty and Children’s Day on April 23, after the annual parliamentary reception for the day, which is also the anniversary of the Turkish parliament’s foundation, was cancelled this year due to the rising death toll in anti-terror operations in the country’s southeast.
“In such a time, the parliament speaker might be expected to say this: ‘We are putting forth our strongest will against terror as the parliament. Of course we will not play music but in order to emphasize that this parliament will be standing united against everything, we as the parliamentarians, will be all together with the children of the martyrs on April 23,’” said Özel, adding that the April 23 celebration has always been a time of “solidarity for martyrs’ children.”
Özel said “in line with the perception the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan tried to create,” the expected had happened and the April 23 reception had been cancelled, adding that five of the eleven previous national holidays had been cancelled for various reasons.
Özel recalled that in the March 17 Ankara attack, even though parliament’s windows were shaken with the concussion of the bombing and the members had worried about their families, parliament had not stopped working because that would have served the aim of terror.
Özel also said Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman took the decision to cancel the reception without consulting the parliamentary groups and that they considered the decision “perception management.”
However, announcing that a reception would take place on the day of the parliament’s foundation, Özel said CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu would gather with children from all over Turkey in the party’s group meeting room and would hold a group meeting.
“Maybe artists and people of thought from various parts of Turkey as well as intellectuals who wanted to participate in the republic reception would be there along with various representatives from our people. We will share the importance of April 23, the parliamentary system and the importance given to parliament by veteran Mustafa Kemal Atatürk with our children,” Özel said.