Erdoğan hosts academics at first ‘Presidential Table’ meeting
AA PhotoA number of prominent academics attended President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s first-ever “Presidential Table” meeting hosted on Jan. 14 at the new presidential palace.
In addition to 16 academics from the social sciences and jurists such as Hüseyin Hatemi, Ahmet Çiğdem and Fuat Keyman; ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) İzmir deputy Binali Yıldırım, a long-time comrade of Erdoğan; Presidential Secretary-General Fahrettin Kasırga; Presidential Vice Secretary-General İbrahim Kalın; and Presidential Chief Advisor Savaş Barkçın attended the luncheon at the new presidential palace, colloquially known as “Ak Saray” (White Place), located in the Beştepe area of Ankara.
Erdoğan’s predecessor, Abdullah Gül who was in office from 2007 to 2014, during his tenure hosted “Çankaya Table” meetings, similar to those held by the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, during which individuals of different professions would gather to discuss the problems faced by the country.
According to a report by the state-run Anadolu Agency, the meeting’s name was changed because of the change in location of the presidential premises. While reporting on the luncheon that was closed to press, the agency noted that the meeting was called “Presidential Table” because it was being hosted at the “Presidential Palace” for the first time, and would not be hosted at Çankaya.
Prior to Erdoğan’s presidency, Çankaya had been used as a byword for the presidential office in reference to the Çankaya Presidential Palace. In his public remarks, Erdoğan has been referring to the palace as “Beştepe.” In so doing, Erdoğan has demonstrated his intention to change colloquialisms in politics, in addition to building himself a new presidential palace.
Additionally, the previous official webpage of the presidency, www.cankaya.gov.tr, has also been changed to www.tccb.gov.tr, using the Turkish acronym for “President of the Republic of Turkey.”