Erdoğan, bar head in warm meeting two years after big spat
AA photoTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hosted a delegation from the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB), including bar head Metin Feyzioğlu, in a surprise event given that the duo traded barbs with each following a 2014 argument.
Both Erdoğan and Feyzioğlu delivered a warm talk, praising each other, with the ice between them breaking in harmony with a rising spirit of unity in the country in the aftermath of the July 15 coup attempt.
The TBB stood against the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) from the start of the coup attempt, taking sides with freedom and the supremacy of law, Feyzioğlu said.
“Our belief in the defeat of this attempt became stronger when we listened to your and our prime minister’s statements on television,” Feyzioğlu said, referring to the two leaders’ calls for the public to hit the streets against the plotters when putschists attempted to take control.
“What FETÖ most wants is to erase the distinction between those guilty and those not guilty and thus create ‘victims’ among FETÖ members in the medium term, and gain prestige particularly in the eyes of the international public,” he said.
The bar head said his union was ready to take part in a working group that would defend Turkey’s rights internationally.
Erdoğan and Feyzioğlu were at odds after an incident to which Erdoğan referred to as an “unfortunate experience” on May 10, 2014, when Feyzioğlu delivered an hour-long speech criticizing the government at a ceremony marking the Council of State’s 146th anniversary.
Turkish politics witnessed a first when Erdoğan interrupted Feyzioğlu’s speech, standing up and heckling him before walking out of the ceremony. He then accused Feyzioğlu of “distorting reality” and being “rude and disrespectful to state protocol.”
Erdoğan later vowed not to attend any future meetings where Feyzioğlu was scheduled as a speaker. Despite Erdoğan’s urging, the Supreme Court of Appeals decided to include Feyzioğlu on the list of speakers at the Sept. 1 event last year, leading Erdoğan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ and former Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel to not attend the ceremony.