Party leaders cool to Erdoğan's meeting call
Okan Konuralp/Umut Erdem - ANKARA
AP PhotoSenior executives of opposition parties have indicated unwillingness to respond positively to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s expected invitation to hold separate meetings with the leaders of the four parties that have entered parliament.
“Tomorrow [June 15], we have a Party Assembly meeting. We will discuss this issue there,” main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu briefly responded on June 14 when asked whether he would accept such invitation.
Speaking to his inner circle, however, Kılıçdaroğlu said he did not find such meeting “appropriate or necessary,” sources said.
“Erdoğan’s intention is also against the constitution. A president should give the mandate for forming a government. An option for a government comes out of parties represented at parliament. The president’s intervention has no meaning,” Kılıçdaroğlu was quoted by the same sources as saying.
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli will make his final decision after consultations with his inner circle, sources said.
“We haven’t yet made an assessment. Let’s see the invitation first, then it would be assessed,” MHP Deputy Group Chair Oktay Vural said on June 14.
Although personally not warm to the idea of holding such a meeting with Erdoğan, Bahçeli will still take his inner circle’s conviction into consideration. If the MHP executives eventually maintain that Bahçeli should meet Erdoğan, then the party is expected to ask the president to hold the meeting at the official Foreign Ministry residence - currently used by Erdoğan - rather than in the controversial new presidential palace in Ankara.
Neither the CHP nor the MHP recognize the legitimacy of the presidential palace and a June 10 meeting between Erdoğan and former CHP leader Deniz Baykal took place at the official Foreign Ministry residence.
Neither co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtaş or Figen Yüksekdağ, intends to give an affirmative response in the event of such an invitation from Erdoğan, according to sources.
“The president has no responsibility to listen to our views concerning the coalition process. Let him give the mandate and then wait for whether a government is formed or not,” a senior executive of the HDP said on June 14.
En route from Baku to Istanbul on June 13 after attending the opening ceremony of the first European Games in the Azerbaijani capital the previous day, Erdoğan said he planned to invite the party leaders to talk with him before deputies are sworn in at parliament.