FETÖ, Operation Euphrates Shield tops agenda in PM Yıldırım and CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu meeting

MERVE AYDOĞAN @mgulaydogan

Turkey's Prime Minister and Justice and Development Party Chairman Binali Yıldırım met with main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Thursday at Justice and Development Party (AK Party) headquarters in Ankara where the two leaders discussed the mini-constitution legislative package and the investigation into Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) affiliates.

According to Prime Ministerial sources, Prime Minister Yıldırım provided the opposition party leader with the latest developments regarding Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria. Though Prime Minister Yıldırım also requested a meeting with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli for Thursday, sources have reported that Bahçeli is awaiting the results of the Constitutional Committee meeting.

Since Turkey's political parties agreed to maintain the spirit of unity established following the major Democracy and Martyrs' Rally at Istanbul's Yenikapı Square in early August, the main opposition leader Kılıçdaroğlu arrived at AK Party headquarters for the first time. Sources from the Prime Ministry reported that the meeting's agenda was topped by the FETÖ investigations as Prime Minister Yıldırım reaffirmed that the government is devoting all means of precision to conducting the investigations. In this respect, Turkey's prime minister also noted that committees under each provincial governorate had been established to assess and evaluate all complaints to overcome unfair treatment. Following the meeting, the CHP group deputy Chairman Levent Gök stated that Kılıçdaroğlu presented a file which included documentation of complaints regarding FETÖ investigations received by the CHP. According to CHP sources, main opposition leader Kılıçdaroğlu also urged Yıldırım not to extend the state of emergency which is expected to end on Oct 20..

In addition to ongoing FETÖ investigations, Prime Minister Yıldırım had also provided information about Operation Euphrates Shield. The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) launched a cross-border operation on Aug. 24 along with the U.S.-led coalition in northern Syria as well as the Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces to clear the area of DAESH and PKK-affiliate Democratic Union Party (PYD) terrorists. Within this framework, the TSK stated on Wednesday that the military has hit 60 DAESH targets with 171 howitzer shots. In total, the TSK has hit 824 DAESH targets with 3,330 howitzer shots since the operation began. Meanwhile, Defense Minister Fikri Işık said on Wednesday that Turkey does not plan to move its infantry into Syria, adding that Operation Euphrates Shield would continue until "Turkey guarantees its safety."

With the Constitutional Committee working on a mini-constitution legislative package which includes several changes including a proposed revising of the dates of all upcoming elections and the parliamentary election timetable of every four years and the proposed change in election terms to be held every five years, Prime Minister Yıldırım and CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu both agreed to immediately finalize the talks. It has been informed by sources that the leaders agreed that reconciliation must be reached in efforts to finalize the talks with results.

Meanwihle Prime Minister Yıldırım held a phone conversation with the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli where they also discussed the fight against FETÖ and other terrorist groups as well as the recent developments on Operation Euphrates Shield and the mini constitution package.

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