Turkish opposition leaders come together to counter Erdogan’s system – MyStateline.com


ISTANBUL (AP) — Leaders of six opposition parties in Turkey have met to strategize on the future of the country’s system of government — a move that aims to topple the country’s longtime leader.

In a statement after dinner on Saturday night, party leaders said Turkey was going through “the deepest political and economic crisis” in its history and blamed it on the executive presidential system. They said their common goal was to transform Turkey’s governance into a “strengthened parliamentary system”.

They didn’t mention President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by name, but their clear goal is to find a way to work together to overthrow him.

After more than 11 years as Turkey’s prime minister, Erdogan was elected president in 2014. Back then, the post was mostly ceremonial. But in 2017, Turkish voters approved an executive presidential system, greatly expanding Erdogan’s powers at the expense of those of the prime minister and parliament. Erdogan was re-elected the following year. Critics call the system “one-man rule.”

The dinner leaders were Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party; Meral Aksener of the nationalist Good Party; Temel Karamollaoglu of the conservative Felicity party; Gultekin Uysal of the Democratic Party; Ali Babacan of the Democracy and Progress Party; and Ahmet Davutoglu of the Future Party. They had previously held bilateral meetings, but Saturday’s meeting was their first all together. They are expected to release details of their deal on February 28.

Davutoglu and Babacan were co-founders of Erdogan’s ruling party and held leadership positions, but split off to form their own parties criticizing Erdogan’s policies.

The second opposition party, the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party, was not present at the meeting. The government attacked this party and many of its members, including its former leaders, were imprisoned for alleged links with banned Kurdish activists. Erdogan also accused the Republican People’s Party of siding with “terrorists”, the party claims denies.

The next parliamentary and presidential elections in Turkey are scheduled for June 2023.


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