The fifth and final round of exploratory meetings between the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and Republican People's Party (CHP) delegations was held on Monday with a focus on foreign policy and Ankara's bid to join the 28-member European Union.
CHP Deputy Chairman and Spokesman Haluk Koç held a press meeting on behalf on the CHP team following the meeting, during which he said that the party's duties are for now over and after this point, the next step will depend on Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu's decision. Culture Minister, Ömer Çelik, spoke on behalf of the AK Party team on Monday evening, emphasizing that the meetings with the CHP were held in a "courteous" atmosphere.
The formation of a possible coalition government will be decided by the party leaders along with the authorized party committees when the delegations submit their reports to their party's chairman. Interim prime minister and AK Party chairman, Ahmet Davutoğlu, and CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu are to meet following the Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) meeting that concludes on Wednesday.
Davutoğlu and Kılıçdaroğlu are expected to meet on Thursday or Friday at the latest to finalize the coalition talks. Davutoğlu previously mentioned the AK Party will re-launch coalition negotiations with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), leading some to claim that the CHP and AK Party delegations have not been able to agree to a coalition. In this regard, the fourth meeting on Saturday was the shortest meeting of all the exploratory meetings, lasting for nearly three-and-a-half hours.
According to local sources, the CHP delegation urged the AK Party delegation to decide on which party it wants to form a coalition with due to recent remarks from AK Party officials signaling a possible coalition with the MHP. Speaking to the press on Saturday after the meeting, CHP Deputy Chairman Haluk Koç said his party began coalition meetings under the framework of the CHP's 14 conditions and the topics of the fourth meeting included the Kurdish issue and the reconciliation process, requests of different religious groups, public administration and media administration. For the AK Party, Culture and Tourism Minister Ömer Çelik said the meetings are not performed to agree on any topics, but only to seek trust and that no agreement is made until all topics are agreed to.