CHP Leader Özel welcomed DEM Party Co-Chairs: "We had the opportunity to exchange views"

Republican People's Party Chairperson Özgür Özel made a statement after his meeting with DEM Party Co-Chairs at the CHP Headquarters, emphasising that they discussed important agenda items and said, "The results of the local elections, their effects on the general elections, Turkey's democracy, the problems we are experiencing in Turkey's democracy, the crises and the agendas that have been talked about a lot this week, the visits of our Speaker of the Parliament to both parties and other parties. The meeting I had with the President yesterday. We had the opportunity to exchange ideas, exchange views and make evaluations on these issues."

Republican People's Party Leader Özgür Özel hosted Peoples' Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party) Co-Chairs Tülay Hatimoğulları and Tuncer Bakırhan at CHP Headquarters. Özel said, "Today, the very valuable Co-Chairs of DEM Party visited us to evaluate and congratulate us on the election results, as we discussed in our phone call after the election. Undoubtedly, it is important for all politicians and all political parties to correctly read the messages in the so to speak, letter written by the voters for the evaluations they will make from the election results and the new politics they will put forward accordingly." ‘In this sense, the results of the local elections, their effects on the general elections, democracy in Turkey, the problems and crises we are experiencing in Turkish democracy and the agendas that have been talked about a lot this week, the visits of President of the Parliament to both parties and also other parties. The meeting I had with the President of the Republic yesterday. We had the opportunity to exchange ideas, exchange views and make evaluations. I would like to thank the Co-Chairs for their visit."

Congratulating the mayors of the DEM Party who have been successful in the local elections, Özel said: "While thanking you for this kind visit, I would like to congratulate the mayors of the DEM Party who have been successful in the elections and wish them success in their work. After the previous local elections, democracy in Turkey had suffered a significant wound with the appointment of trustees. In this election, the situation in Van came to light first. A very important solidarity was displayed there by all segments of the society. The shame and mistake of giving a mandate to the second candidate was reversed. I would like to express my cautious satisfaction that there has not been any trustee practice so far. I would like to thank them once again for their kind visit."


Upon a question about his meeting with Erdoğan, Özel said, "(Seat issue) It is not meaningful to talk about the resolved crises again. The picture that emerged there and after the meeting between us, when Mr Erdoğan conveyed his request for a visit to the CHP, it was resolved in the best possible way. I would not find it right to go back and make a re-evaluation here. It would not be polite behaviour. Yesterday, we had the opportunity to discuss with Mr Erdoğan all that was on the public agenda. He and the members of his delegation took notes of all the agendas I put forward. I would like to express that yesterday's meeting was an important milestone for Turkish democracy. Periods when politicians did not shake hands have always ended in disaster for democracy. Between 1977 and 1980, there was a period when the government and the main opposition did not shake hands and did not talk. In Turkey, we find it extremely important that the main opposition and the government and all political parties remain in a line where they can talk to each other, shake hands, agree on everything, but discuss. We will follow how yesterday's speeches and discussions yielded results in this sense in the coming days, weeks and months. You will follow it too," he said.


Upon questions about the participation of CHP Istanbul Deputy Namık Tan in the Erdoğan meeting and the earthquake ministry proposal, Özel said, "Let's satisfy the curiosity about Namık Tan. Let me put it this way. Before visiting the President, I paid a visit to the last impartial elected President, Mr Ahmet Necdet Sezer. My visit was not only to thank him for his kind congratulatory message, but also to get his suggestions before the meeting with the President and to ask him to help me with some of my questions. His advice to me was as follows. They told me that the Presidential Chief of Staff and the Directorate of Protocol was an ambassador, and that it would be right for me to assign one of the ambassadors in my party to take care of the protocol flow, appointment and continuation of the protocol in coordination with our Chief of Staff. I tasked Namık Tan, who is currently an Istanbul MP and a member of our party, with this task, and he discussed the details of yesterday's meeting with the head of the Presidential protocol and the chief of staff. During the formation of the delegation, we also included Namık Tan in the delegation to follow the meeting and take the necessary notes in accordance with his professional experience and knowledge. Mr Elitaş was accompanying the President. Later on, upon the invitation of the President, his chief of staff also joined the meeting, and thus we experienced the process in which the two ambassadors took notes on the meeting together. Of course, I made the choice of the name. He is the only ambassador in our parliamentary group. But the proposal to assign an ambassador was made directly to me by Mr Ahmet Necdet Sezer with his own experience and discretion." Özel noted the following:


"I attach importance to the Ministry of Earthquake, let me put it this way. Everyone in Turkey is defining a problem of survivability in their own way. Some see the CHP as a problem of survival, some see a political party winning a municipality as a problem of survival. Some see a survival problem in someone else, but one of the most important survival problems of Turkey is the Istanbul earthquake, which will be caught unprepared. Millions of people may die in the Istanbul earthquake. If we are not fully prepared for the Istanbul earthquake, Turkey's economy will collapse. Turkey will also lose contact with the financial world. We will lose the managers of some of Turkey's companies and the management centres of those companies. Turkey's connection between Europe and Asia may disappear. It may also become impossible to deliver humanitarian aid to that city. This issue is neither a matter for the government alone. Neither is it an issue that the municipality governing that city can solve alone. Nor is it a situation that would allow the opposition a space for opposition. This issue itself is a matter of survival for the country. For this reason, I suggested to Mr Erdoğan that he should establish a ministry on earthquakes, whether it should be called the earthquake ministry or the ministry of fighting natural disasters and earthquake preparedness. I further suggested that I would appoint a deputy minister from my party if he requested a deputy minister from each political party with a group in the Parliament, and I made evaluations on the importance of addressing the earthquake issue in a supra-political manner, taking it out of the vicious debates of politics, and eliminating a problem of survival with cooperation. The President followed carefully, noted it and had it noted. However, as you know, according to the Constitution, the establishment of new ministries is within his authority. It is under his authority. I do not know what kind of a step he will take, but I attach importance to its establishment. If there is a demand from our party, I see it as a responsibility to give a deputy minister to the Ministry of Earthquake not from a political point of view, but from a humanitarian point of view, from a conscientious point of view and in order not to regret that day."


Upon another question, Özel said, "We were in dialogue when the events took place. First of all, the miscommunication on the point that a disrespectful statement against Atatürk and Mr. Erdoğan was uttered by the DEM Party Co-Chairs was corrected by them. Then it became clear during the investigation and prosecution phase carried out by law enforcement officers. It was not the elected mayors of the DEM Party who said that. The second issue is the flag. On that issue, I consider the statements made by both Co-Chairs as the institutional attitude of DEM and at that point, I find their statements that they have no disrespect and disrespect towards the flag, Atatürk's picture, symbols and symbols extremely important, appropriate and sufficient."


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