Parliament convenes in closed session with Idlib on agenda
The Turkish Parliament on March 3 convened in a closed session to discuss the developments in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province as the exchange of fire continues to escalate tensions between Ankara and Damascus.
The General Assembly convened at 3.00 p.m. local time (1200GMT) for its usual weekly works which will be followed by the closed session.
During the closed session Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu will separately brief the lawmakers regarding Turkey’s recent activities in Idlib and the latest developments on the field.
Vice President Fuat Oktay will also attend the closed session where political parties’ representatives will evaluate the situation.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli will also attend the closed session and observe the discussions. Opposition İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener will not attend the session as she is not a lawmaker.
Representatives from each political party will have 30 minutes to express their opinions and suggestions concerning the situation after the briefing. While deputies Efkan Ala and Ahmet Yıldız will represent the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), deputy chair Ünal Çeviköz and deputy Mehmet Ali Çelebi will attend on behalf of the main opposition CHP.
MHP group deputy chair Erkan Akçay will represent his party and İYİ Party deputy chair Ahmet Kamil Erozan and deputy Aydın Adnan Sezgin will attend on behalf of their party.
Saruhan Oluç, the group deputy chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), and deputy Tülay Gatimoğlulları will represent the HDP during the session.
For the whole session, only officials who are under oath will be present, apart from the lawmakers.
According to the regulations of the parliament, the minutes of closed sessions are kept as a “state secret” in the archives for 10 years.
A petition for the extraordinary meeting at the parliament was submitted to the office of the speaker by the Republican People’s Party (CHP) on Feb. 28.
İYİ Party has also called on the government to immediately convene the parliament at a closed session.
The AKP proposed a closed parliamentary session on Syria on March 3.
Before the General Assembly gathered, political party leaders convened their parliamentary group meetings as part of their usual schedule.
Every Tuesday, Turkey’s political parties hold their parliamentary group meetings where leaders address their lawmakers in their speeches.