Çiçek announced the decision as he received board members from the Association for Diplomacy Correspondents (DMD) early on Wednesday. The speaker said he made that decision considering “the situation the country is currently in.” “Ceremonies for the opening of the new legislative year will be held as planned, but the reception that was to take place in the evening has been cancelled,” Çiçek said.
Separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorists have recently stepped up their attacks on the Turkish military, killing more than 40 soldiers in the past month. In retaliation, the Turkish military launched a series of air raids on PKK targets in northern Iraq last week, its first strike in the region in more than a year.
The military said it has killed up to 100 PKK terrorists in six days of air strikes.
The PKK took up arms against the state in 1984 and more than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
During Wednesday's meeting, Çiçek also renewed his call for the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) to end its parliamentary boycott. “It is your responsibility to join parliamentary sessions. Fulfill your responsibility,” he said. Çiçek recalled that the new Parliament faces the challenging task of drafting a new constitution and called on the BDP to contribute to the process.
Thirty-six independent deputies supported by the pro-Kurdish BDP were elected in the June 12 elections; however, six of the BDP-backed deputies are currently under arrest as part of the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK) trial. The BDP made the decision to boycott after the Supreme Election Board (YSK) stripped Hatip Dicle, one of the six jailed BDP deputies, of his mandate over a prior terrorism-related conviction after the June 12 vote.