Turkish PM: AK Party respects people's 'coalition' choice
Davutoglu says their duty is to do their best, not to dispute the choice of Turkish people for a coalition after election

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has stressed that his Justice and Development (AK) Party respects the Turkish people’s choice, after the June 7 election that produced no majority government.

"Our people opted for a coalition. We will not argue against it but will try our best to do our part," he said at a live interview on state broadcaster TRT on Wednesday evening.

His remarks came amid his ongoing talks with the top officials of his party at the Ankara headquarters for the last three days after Sunday's parliamentary polls so as to review and assess the election results.

In the general election, the AK Party received 41 percent of the votes and the highest number of seats, making it the first party to be asked by the president to form a government.

None of the four parties elected to the Turkish Grand National Assembly could achieve the majority necessary to form a single-party government.

Davutoglu highlighted that the will of the nation is beyond argument, ruling out any resentment on the part of his AK Party towards the Turkish people for the decline in their votes compared to previous elections.

"What is right is whatever the people say. You can't have resentment towards the people, or take offense," he said.

The prime minister said it was instead a development that merited self-assessment.

Davutoglu maintained that the results could not be justifiably called a failure for his party, saying: "The Turkish people said ‘we continue to confer the main responsibility over our future to AK Party to form the government.’

"We will remain calm and collected. Just as we successfully managed the administration for 12 years in power, so are we the only ones now to make the coalition a success."

As for the debates in Turkey over a potential snap election, Davutoglu said he preferred to do his best and sincerely negotiate with all three parties on how to form the new government.

"But if they [negotiation efforts] yield nothing, we will not leave the country with an interim government or shut the parliament, but will go to the public again to ask what their new order is," he said.

Davutoglu touched on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's meeting earlier in the day with Deniz Baykal -- former leader and freshly-elected MP of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) -- who will preside over the assembly, as the oldest deputy at 76, until a speaker is elected.

Davutoglu ruled out any negotiation between the two over a possible coalition during the meeting.

"Our president is not part of the coalition talks, but is the holder of the seat that could remove any deadlock. He may come into play only to overcome crises," he said.

Baykal had earlier said on Wednesday: "We did not discuss the coalition [possibilities]. I observed that Erdogan wants stability and a solution in Turkey immediately, and is open to any coalition formula."

Asked of any priorities in the formation of a coalition with the opposition parties, the prime minister said they were focused solely on what is best for Turkey.

Davutoglu ruled out any "red lines" while searching for a coalition partner, but said his party has its own political and moral principles.

"I have never used the term 'red line' even in diplomacy. Politics is conducted not on lines but on a course and towards a direction," he said.

Davutoglu also spoke to reassure the Turkish people that they would not allow the achievements of the country during the AK Party’s 13-year rule to "fade away" after the elections.

"Our main principle is the interest of Turkey and the peace and tranquility of our people. I repeat my call: please be at ease," he said.

The prime minister issued the same call of calm to markets, businesspeople, labor unions and non-governmental organizations.

He assured that there would be no disruption in their governmental duties or any trouble in their continuity.

"We will work till the end as if we would never leave the governmental seat," he said.

On Tuesday, President Erdogan accepted the resignation of Davutoglu and the cabinet, and asked them to continue their duties until a new government is formed.

The president is expected to ask Davutoglu to form a government after the parliament convenes.

Davutoglu emphasized that he will resolutely pursue talks with all opposition parties, but added that they need to see sincerity on the other side of the table as well.

He said they will seek "reconciliation" if needed for a coalition government, but criticized any potential "door-slamming stance" by opposition parties.

Regarding the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) which gained seats for the first time in the parliament after passing the 10 percent threshold, Davutoglu said if the HDP does not call upon the terrorist group PKK to lay down arms, they will betray the votes cast in their favor.

The Turkish government launched the "solution process” initiative in 2013 with the aim of bringing an end to the decades-long conflict with the PKK, which resulted in a call for disarmament from jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan.

Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union list the PKK as a terrorist organization.

Decades of conflict between the group and the Turkish security forces have led to the deaths of some 40,000 people.

Turkey's AK Party won its fourth consecutive general election on Sunday, securing the largest number of votes to claim 258 seats in the Grand National Assembly, 18 short of a simple majority, according to the unofficial results.

The pro-Kurdish HDP passed the 10 percent threshold with 13.12 percent of the vote to take 80 seats -- marking the first time it will enter the parliament as a party.

The Republican People's Party (CHP) claimed 132 seats with 24.96 percent, while the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) won 80 MPs in the Grand National Assembly by receiving 16.29 percent of the vote.

The turnout was 86.63 percent. Although the initial count has been completed, the figures need to be verified by the Supreme Election Council, which is due to be completed by June 19.

Once the final results are announced, the deputies of the 25th Grand National Assembly must be sworn in within five days. The constitutional deadline to form a new government will expire around August 18.

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Last Modified: 2015-06-11 08:14:55
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