Turkey's AK Party begins second round of coalition talks
Justice and Development (AK) Party delegation meets with Republican People's Party (CHP) members

Delegations of the Justice and Development (AK) Party and Republican People's Party (CHP) met again in capital Ankara on Tuesday to discuss the post June 7 election scenario.

This was the second meeting between the parties, which also launched the second round of coalition talks among Turkey's four parliamentary parties.

"The topics on today's agenda were basic freedoms, the constitution, the judicial system and the legal system," CHP's party spokesman and deputy chairman, Haluk Koc, told reporters after the six-and-a-half hour long meeting.

Noting that there were agreements as well as disagreements on some issues, Koc said that the two sides would continue their talks, with the next of the planned three more meetings scheduled for Thursday.

"The process will continue Thursday with different topics, and most probably, all topics will have been covered by the end of the [fourth] meeting next Monday," he said, adding that the whole process and the outcome of the meetings would be presented to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu in the form of a written report.

Minister of Culture and Tourism Omer Celik said that they had a "fruitful" meeting where they discussed in detail the election system, the separation of powers, and ideas on writing a new Constitution, which he said was the "main goal".

"In our opinion, it was a fruitful meeting where both sides saw where the other stood," Celik said, adding that they discussed about the political practices the two parties could generate together.

Asked if the delegations reached an agreement over the 10 percent election threshold currently required to gain seats in the Turkish parliament, Celik said that although the delegations were evaluating everything, including the election law, agreeing on any number was not their job, and that could only be decided at a "later stage".

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus, Minister of Culture and Tourism Omer Celik, and Defense Minister Cevdet Yilmaz attended the meeting along with several AK Party deputies; while the CHP delegation included deputy chairpersons Haluk Koc, Selin Sayek Boke, Bulent Tezcan and Faik Oztrak.

AK Party's first meeting with the CHP as part of the first round of coalition talks was held on July 13, which was attended by Davutoglu and Kilicdaroglu.

This was followed by meetings with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli, and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) leaders, Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag on July 14 and 15, respectively.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had asked Davutoglu to form a new government on July 9.

Davutoglu now has 24 days left to form a government around the AK Party, which gained the largest share of parliamentary seats (258) in the June 7 general election.

Although the party came in first, it did not win enough seats (276 seats) to form a majority government, so it must attempt to forge a coalition with one of three other parliamentary parties -- the second-placed left-leaning CHP (132 seats), the nationalist MHP (80 seats) or the pro-Kurdish HDP (80 seats). Either the CHP or MHP are likely to be Davutoglu's preferred partners.

If he is unable to form a coalition, tradition dictates the president should offer the second placed party the chance to create an administration within another 45-day period. Should this also fail to provide Turkey with a governing coalition, the president must call a fresh election and appoint a prime minister within five days to form an interim government consisting of representatives from all four parties.

The new election would likely be held around the end of November.

The last coalition talks in Turkey were made 16 years ago, when the Democratic Left Party (DSP) of the late premier Bulent Ecevit failed to win the majority at the general election on April 18, 1999.

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Last Modified: 2015-07-29 07:30:50
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