Final AK Party-CHP meetings bring coalition talks to critical juncture

Delegations from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the main opposition Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP) will meet on Monday for the final round of talks over forming a coalition government, with the negotiations at a critical juncture due to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan support for a snap election, making an AK Party-CHP coalition an unlikely prospect.
According to information Todayand’s Zaman has learned from a high-level CHP official involved in the talks, despite the diplomatic language used by the spokespeople of both parties, the fourth meeting between the AK Party and the CHP took place in a tense atmosphere. Furthermore, according to the official, both parties have begun to prepare detailed public announcements to counter criticism in case of a complete breakdown in talks.
The source also said that the CHP had tried its best to form a broad-based coalition and that it is the AK Party that should be blamed if the talks do not succeed. According to the CHP official, the CHP has focused on the problems facing the country and possible solutions during coalition meetings and has underlined that political ambitions should not be considered more important than the countryand’s problems.
Speaking to journalists on his way back to Turkey from a visit to China on Friday, President Erdogan said that a coalition government would not bring any benefit to the country. and”However, it is possible to form a minority government that would take Turkey to a snap election,and” he said. Erdogan also told reporters in Istanbul on July 24 that if no parties are able to form a coalition, then the country would have another general election within 90 days.
Following the June 7 general election, in which no single party received enough seats in Parliament to form a government, Erdogan has been criticized for conducting a strategy aimed at preventing the formation of a coalition government. During the fourth round of meetings on Saturday, tension rose between members of the AK Party and CHP delegations after some AK Party officials said that Erdogan had the right to express his opinion about coalition meetings. The two sides also disagreed on issues such as the settlement of the countryand’s Kurdish problem, social reconciliation, problems in the public administration and religious and media freedom.
Some of the members of the CHP delegation also criticized Erdogan during the meeting for sacrificing the Kurdish settlement process to his personal and political ambitions and especially over his desire to transform the country from a parliamentary system of government to one featuring an executive presidency.
CHP Deputy Chairman Haluk Koandc, the head of the CHP delegation, told Todayand’s Zaman on Sunday that the Turkish electorateand’s message to political parties in the June 7 general election was to and”meet and reconcileand” and that to do so is the responsibility of all political actors in order to end the violence in the country.
Underlining that Turkey needs a broad-based coalition to end its security problems, Koandc said that politicians had to take responsibility to solve problems in society for the sake of peace. Koandc also noted that businesspeople are anxious to avoid a prolonged period of instability, with the Turkish economy already suffering from a downturn. and”Alarm bells have already begun ringing about the Turkish economy because of the recent developments,and” he said.
During the four rounds of meetings, the two sides discussed political and economic issues to see if a compromise was possible. Culture and Tourism Minister andOmer andcelik, the head of the AK Party delegation, said in a press conference on Saturday that the two parties had only been holding preliminary meetings and that talk would continue if there were serious hopes of an AK Party-CHP coalition.
In Mondayand’s meetings, the two sides will summarize their agreements and differences. After the meetings have finished, AK Party Chairman and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoilu and CHP leader Kemal Kiliandcdaroilu will meet this week to discuss issues on which no agreement was possible.
Davutoilu said last week that the AK Party is still in discussion with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), despite the MHP saying previously that it did not wish to be involved in coalition talks at the moment. An unexpected show of support by the MHP for the ruling party during an extraordinary session of Parliament on Wednesday was interpreted by many as a sign that the two parties could be edging closer to each other as an alternative coalition scenario.