Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) door is open to all the parties in parliament for coalition negotiations.
Speaking at an iftar event as part of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Istanbul on Sunday hosted by the state-owned poorhouse organization Darulaceze, Davutoglu said he would keep the AK Party’s door open for negotiation with all the leaders of the three parties in the parliament, once President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gives the duty of forming a government, to the leader of the party with the highest number of seats.
According to official results of the June 7 election, the governing Party leads with 258 deputies. Republican People's Party (CHP) comes second with 132 deputies. Meanwhile, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) each have 80 deputies in the parliament.
The next stage sees the new lawmakers select a parliament speaker, the 27th in the history of the Republic of Turkey, via a secret ballot.
The first two rounds of voting requires the speaker to gain 367 votes out of 550 deputies. If no candidate achieves this, a third round can be passed by the candidate receiving a simple majority of 276 votes. If there is still no winner, the candidate with the largest number of votes in the fourth will be selected.
Deniz Baykal - the former head of the opposition CHP and newly elected Antalya deputy - will temporarily serve as the speaker of the new parliament because the 77-year-old veteran politician is the most senior member of the Turkish parliament.
Once the parliamentary speaker is officially elected, initiatives to form a new Turkish government will begin.
Since no party has a majority to form a single-party government, coalition talks will begin following the parliamentary speaker’s election.
Davutoglu stressed that the AK Party, which has ruled the country for over a decade with a single party rule, would be open to all options in order to form the most effective unity.
"Our doors are not closed to anybody; our mind is not closed, our ears are not closed, our heart is not closed," he stated vigorously.
The PM commented on some of the announcements made about coalition negotiations by other party leaders, saying they were “testing the waters”.
Davutoglu said, some clarity should come with the beginning of official negotiations.
Earlier this week, leader of the MHP, Devlet Bahceli, declined a proposal by the secularist CHP which offered Bahceli being prime minister in a trio coalition.
CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu offered on Thursday the prime minister's post to Bahceli on the condition that both parties form a coalition government, which only have a combined 212 seats and still require a third party’s support.
Bahceli harshly criticised the CHP’s offer on Friday by saying “Is this a toy coming from China? The matter is state governing. What is the meaning of ‘take the prime ministry?’ We are not power hungry. This is a flippant attitude. We slur over this.”
“There is no inevitability to try forming a coalition. The modest thing is early election,” said Bahceli, reminding his first proposal in the election night, and also offered the date of early election as Dec.15.
General Secretary of the CHP, Gursel Tekin, refused Bahceli’s early election offer on Saturday and said Turkey is not able to stand an early election during such an ambience with many inside and outside problems.
“An election has already been launched with the national will. The nation warned all political parties. It says my wish is this, you will form a coalition with my will and fix my problems inside a coalition,” said Tekin.
Vice-Chairman of the MHP, Semih Yalcin, also criticised the prime ministry offer of the CHP saying “This is a political bribery. Mr. Kilicdaroglu offered something inappropriate.”
Yalcin also ruled out on June 11 the possibility of forming a coalition with the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).
"Let it be known that the MHP does not get in the same bag with the snakes," said MP Semih Yalcin in a statement. "They [HDP] have our soldiers', our policemen's, our civilians' and mostly Kurdish people's blood on their hands."
The HDP passed Turkey’s 10 percent electoral threshold with 13.12 percent of the vote and secured 80 seats - entering the parliament for the first time as a political party.
Co-chair of the HDP, Selahattin Demirtas, reacted to coalition talks, claiming his party is being left out of the negotiations.
Slamming a discussion attached to the HDP without its opinion, Demirtas said “If the HDP wasn’t able to pass the threshold, you would not be arguing on coalition. You’re arguing under favour of us.”
In Turkey's tense political atmosphere, probability of an early election is increasing considering the rivalry between the opposition parties which might result in a deadlock in the formation of a government.
If the parliament fails to establish a new government within 45 days, an early election will be inevitable.
In order to form a unity government, any coalition must have 276 MPs' support, a majority in a 550-seated parliament.