In response to remarks by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who said following his election victory on Sunday that he would knock on the door of the opposition while rewriting the Constitution, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said his party's doors are open to Erdoğan on the new constitution.
Kılıçdaroğlu on Tuesday spoke to the Milliyet and Hürriyet dailies following Sunday's elections, at the end of which his party emerged second with 26 percent of the vote following Erdoğan's Justice and Development Party (AK Party), which received 50 percent of the national vote.
When asked about Erdoğan's speech on the evening of the elections in which he called for consensus while preparing the new constitution to replace the current one, which was drafted following a military takeover in 1980, Kılıçdaroğlu said: “Our doors are open [to the government] if they come to us with that issue. We are sincere when it comes to the new constitution. What should be done is obvious. A conciliation commission should be formed. Each party should send representatives to this commission in equal number. This model was implemented in the past and we can proceed if we adopt this model.”
Although Erdoğan won a third term in office and his party has increased its support to almost 50 percent since it first came to power in 2002, the party fell a few seats short of 330 in the 550-seat Parliament needed to call a referendum on a planned new constitution.
Recognizing the party's executive success but legislative shortcomings, Erdoğan noted in his first address to the nation on Sunday night that the society wants a new constitution through compromise. “We will not shut our doors, as we have fewer than 330 deputies, and we will go to the opposition. I am telling you tonight that if they accept us, we will make an effort to compromise with the parties that remained outside of Parliament, civil society, the media, academics and everyone else who has a say in the process,” he said in his speech.