Ankara, August 22, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
The leaders of Turkey’s ruling party and two opposition parties have come together to discuss the ongoing anti-terror fight and developments in Iraq and Syria, two days after at least 53 Turkish nationals were killed in a suicide bomb attack in Gaziantep on the Syrian border.
The meeting between Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli marked their second reunion since the failed coup attempt on July 15, which was blamed on the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
Yıldırım welcomed Kılıçdaroğlu and Bahçeli at the Prime Ministry’s Office in a three-hour meeting with an agenda focusing on terror issues and constitutional amendments.
According to officials, the three leaders discussed Turkey’s counter-terrorism efforts and recent developments in Syria and Iraq. Yıldırım provided information to the opposition leaders about the fight against FETÖ and measures taken by authorities, officials stated. The leaders also exchanged views on the small-scale constitutional amendments package, they added.
Opposition leaders had already expressed support to the government in its efforts to eliminate terrorist threats in the aftermath of consecutive attacks by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The meeting excluded Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş on the grounds that the party had failed to distance itself from the PKK. “The HDP has to take a firm stance against the PKK,” officials said.
The premier first met with the two opposition party leaders separately on July 19, four days after the failed coup attempt.
The leaders also met at the Presidential Palace on July 25 upon an invitation by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Concerning the new charter, representatives of the AKP, CHP and MHP had suggested they may give Turkey’s people “some good news” before the Eid al-Adha holiday after their fifth meeting in parliament on Aug. 20
After the meeting with the opposition leaders, Yıldırım chaired the weekly cabinet meeting.