Turkey's main opposition leader won’t attend Victory Day reception
The leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, will not attend a Victory Day reception set to be hosted today by President Abdullah Gül. AA photoThe leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, will not attend a Victory Day reception set to be hosted today by President Abdullah Gül.
Kılıçdaroğlu’s announcement came during a press conference yesterday at Ankara’s Esenboğa Airport before departing for the opening ceremony of the İzmir International Fair.
However, Kılıçdaroğlu will be attending other ceremonies, the CHP headquarters announced.
Kılıçdaroğlu’s announcement did not come as a surprise due to the CHP’s tradition of not attending receptions since Gül’s election as president in August 2007, including during the term of Kılıçdaroğlu’s predecessor, Deniz Baykal. The CHP has also refused to attend receptions marking Republic Day on Oct. 29.
This year, for the first time, the reception will be held in the presidential residence and hosted by Gül and his spouse, Hayrünnisa Gül.
After an amendment to the regulation governing national and official feasts, ceremonies and celebrations passed in May 2012, the responsibility for hosting the Victory Day reception was transferred from the chief of General Staff to the president.
Yet, last year Gül canceled the event due to a recurring ear problem.
Victory Day marks the final battle in the War of Independence in 1922 preceding the foundation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923.