Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu CHP will “not be revanchist”

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Hülya Karahan Photo

Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has vowed that his party will “not be revanchist” in the event of a coalition government with the Justice and Development Party (AKP), as hints rise that negotiations for a “grand coalition” will start in Turkey.

For his part, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu welcomed Kılıçdaroğlu’s remarks, describing them as “important.”

Davutoğlu also stressed that “respect” for the position of the presidency was important for the AKP and that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan should be “kept out of the discussions,” adding that he did not approve of the issue of the parliament speaker election being presented like it is part of coalition talks even before discussions start.

In an interview with daily Cumhuriyet on June 26, Kılıçdaroğlu said he would meet Davutoğlu “without prejudice” for the formation of a government. Emphasizing that their talks would be grounded in the CHP’s “14 principles,” he said those principles would be presented to the AKP during negotiations.

The CHP head also stressed the need for a change in Turkey’s foreign policy regarding ties with Egypt, Syria and the Middle East in general.

Asked whether there is still a possibility of forming a coalition government of “the 60 percent block” of opposition parties at parliament, Kılıçdaroğlu said this was out of the question due to the stance of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli.

“If Mr. Bahçeli says it’s 100 percent not possible, then we have nothing to say. It appears that the 60 percent block has little chance of forming a coalition government,” he said.

The CHP leader said they would take the controversial issues of the Dec. 17-25 corruption probe cases and the National Intelligence Agency (MİT) trucks carrying “assistance” to the Syrian opposition onto their agenda, but the party would not be “revanchist.”

He vowed that those cases would be brought to parliament’s agenda over time.

“We don’t want to give the impression that we are taking revenge on Erdoğan. The issue should come to parliament’s agenda naturally, within its rule of laws. New evidence and crime elements should emerge so that we can discuss in an unprejudiced, healthy way,” Kılıçdaroğlu stated.

He likened such an approach to the trial of former President Kenan Evren, who led the 1980 military coup but was only brought to trial after more than three decades.

Still, any coalition government formed by the AKP and the CHP would not hamper the investigation of corruption or other lawlessness, Kılıçdaroğlu vowed.

He said the biggest problem between his party and the AKP is a “confidence crisis,” as the CHP does not have confidence in the current ruling party.

The CHP leader said he did not approve of any discussion about the issue of President Erdoğan’s role and duties during the coalition talks, as Erdoğan must remain within his constitutional limits regardless.

Meanwhile, Davutoğlu met the CHP’s parliament speaker candidate Deniz Baykal on June 26, while the AKP’s candidate İsmet Yilmaz paid a visit to the main opposition party’s headquarters.

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