‘Civilian coup’ carried out in Turkey, CHP leader says

‘Civilian coup’ carried out in Turkey, CHP leader says

‘Civilian coup’ carried out in Turkey, CHP leader says

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is staging a “civilian coup” over plans to hold snap elections after the recent failure of coalition talks, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said. 

The CHP, which held weeks of coalition talks with the AKP, says Erdoğan deliberately stymied the negotiations in the hope of triggering new polls and a better result for his party. 

“There is no law in Turkey at the moment. Democracy is currently suspended and the constitution is not working,” Kılıçdaroğlu told a televised meeting of CHP MPs in Ankara on Aug. 23.

“We are faced with a civilian coup,” he said, in a nod to Turkey’s modern history, which has seen the country experience three direct military coups in 1960, 1971 and 1980. 

Kılıçdaroğlu said the CHP, which came second in the June 7 polls, was willing to be the minority partner in a coalition led by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, which would have been “respected inside and outside” of Turkey. In order for this to be realized, his party wanted to see change on three major issues: Foreign policy which needed a “180 degree transformation,” the economy, and an education system “that leaves no parent satisfied.” 

On Aug. 21, President Erdoğan announced that he would meet the speaker of the Turkish parliament on Aug. 24 to exercise his right to call snap elections, slated to be held on Nov. 1.

The CHP is incensed that Erdoğan did not hand it the mandate and a chance to form a coalition government after the failure of talks with the AKP, accusing him of violating the constitution.

But Erdoğan has snapped back, saying he could not meet Kılıçdaroğlu because the CHP leader refused to set foot in his huge presidential palace that was opened last year to huge controversy.

“[Erdoğan] says he cannot give the mandate to me because we ‘cannot find our way to Beştepe [where the presidential palace is located in Ankara]. Indeed, we cannot find our way there as [he has] done,” said Kılıçdaroğlu.

Speaking to reporters in Ankara on Aug. 23, Davutoğlu insisted that the AKP had acted in line with the Turkish constitution.

“Up to now, since June 7 - and the nation is our witness - we have not deviated one inch from the constitution or the law,” he stressed.