The two leaders met at Erdoğan's office in the Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) headquarters in Ankara at 3:30 p.m. Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay, AK Party parliamentary group Deputy Chairman Mahir Ünal and AK Party Deputy Chairman Ömer Çelik are accompanying Erdoğan during the meeting, while CHP deputy chairmen Faruk Loğoğlu and Sezgin Tanrıkulu and CHP parliamentary group Deputy Chairman Akif Hamzaçebi are accompanying Kılıçdaroğlu.
Erdoğan voiced positive feelings about the meeting as he responded to questions from reporters hours before the meeting. Erdoğan said his party has never closed the door on anybody discussing a solution to the issue. “Our doors are also open today. We will listen carefully to whoever brings a proposal for a solution and implement it if it has points that we can benefit from. We have no preconditions, prejudices and presuppositions,” he added.
The critical and rare meeting comes on the initiative of Kılıçdaroğlu, who requested an appointment with the prime minister last week to discuss the CHP's recently drafted roadmap to solve the Kurdish issue. Erdoğan responded to the request positively over the weekend.
Last month the CHP submitted its suggestion on how to solve the Kurdish problem to Parliament, presenting a proposal detailing ideas first announced as part of the party's campaign in the last general elections.
The CHP first prepared a report on how to deal with the issue in 1989 and, after the election of Kılıçdaroğlu as party leader in 2010, the party returned to the subject. The promises made by Kılıçdaroğlu in the run-up to last year's national elections on the matter are reiterated in the proposal presented to the parliament speaker.
The report, which details a 10-point plan, includes as its first point a plan for the establishment of a parliamentary committee to concentrate on the Kurdish question. The suggested name for this committee is the Societal Reconciliation Commission, which the CHP says in its report should function according to the principles of equal representation and reconciliation. Erdoğan and the CHP leader met on the same issue in July 2010 at the request of Erdoğan, whose AK Party launched an initiative to address the issue in 2009.
Turkey has for decades been battling a campaign of separatist terrorism carried out by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which in 1984 launched an armed campaign to fight for an autonomous Kurdish homeland in southeast Turkey.