The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu yesterday visited the İYİ Party (Good Party) as part of the CHP's efforts to form an electoral alliance for the upcoming presidential election in 2019. However, during the press briefing after the visit, the heads of both parties declined to comment on persistent questions from the reporters on a possible electoral alliance, in what some have interpreted as a cold shoulder from the İYİ Party to CHP.
"We are not taking any questions regarding this matter," Kılıçdaroğlu said after the meeting, which was also echoed by İYİ Party Chairwoman Meral Akşener, who said: "We are not going to comment on this issue."
Providing details of the visit, Akşener thanked Kılıçdaroğu for his courtesy visit. "It was a courtesy visit and we also talked about courtesy in Turkish politics. Obviously we talked about Turkey's problems," Akşener said.
Kılıçdaroğlu also called on the public to participate to the next election: "Everybody should go to the ballot boxes in the next election. We will secure the ballot boxes and we are going to work together to bring a stronger democracy to our country."
Even though both leaders did not comment on an electoral alliance, Akşener has made clear that she will be a candidate in the upcoming presidential election, which could cause friction in an alliance.
The CHP continues to hold meetings in search of possible partners for an alliance with political parties hoping to reach agreement over its principles. So far, the CHP has met with the İYİ Party, Motherland Party (ANAP), Democratic Party (DP), Felicity Party (SP) and the Democratic Left Party (DSP). After the meetings, the parties made ambiguous statements on Turkey's democratic status quo and election safety without touching on an electoral alliance. After the April 16 constitutional referendum last year, Kılıçdaroğlu promised to unite the opposition bloc, but in a months-long search for partners, the CHP continues to hold meetings.