Ankara, August 3 () - Coalition talks between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Republican People’s Party (CHP) will enter a new phase following a last meeting by respective delegations on Aug. 3, with the two parties’ leaders to decide in an encounter likely to take place later this week.
The AKP and CHP delegations, led by Culture Minister Ömer Çelik and deputy leader Haluk Koç, met on Aug. 1 at parliament for the fourth time and will meet tomorrow for the fifth and last time before they submit their reports to AKP leader Ahmet Davutoğlu and CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
“We will conclude exploratory talks on Monday, and we’ll be able to submit our reports to our leaders,” Çelik told reporters following a fourth round of talks on Aug. 1.
“We will go through the phase of coalition-making talks if the chairmen and executive boards of the parties admit that preliminary talks have yielded a result. But in the event they come to the conclusion that exploratory talks have failed to bring about such a result, then the process will end there,” Çelik said.
Koç said the June 7 elections did not allow any political party to form a one-party government. “People gave us the responsibility [to engage in] dialogue and compromise. We, as the CHP, are continuing talks with this understanding and historical responsibility.”
The CHP underlined the need to form a coalition government as everybody should put the interest of Turkey before their party’s interests, adding that holding new elections would not be a solution to the problems of Turkey, particularly as it is wracked by violence.
AKP-CHP teams have discussed a number of issues in the last four rounds of talks, including the economy, foreign policy, democratization, media and religious freedoms, as well as a new constitution. The teams have met for a cumulative total of more than 24 hours in the last four rounds and analyzed where the parties converge and differ.
Bahçeli: Don’t waste time
Meanwhile, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli called on the AKP and the CHP to speed up talks for the coalition government. “I call on the AKP and the CHP: Don’t waste time; don’t delay. Go ahead and make the government and fight against terror until you fully eliminate it,” he said on Twitter on Aug. 1.
Although the AKP is in talks with the CHP for a government, it is also in close contact with the MHP. Senior AKP officials have underlined that they could go to the MHP if talks with the CHP fail before a deadline expires on Aug. 24.
Turkey will have to go to polls before the end of November if no one can form a coalition.