Opposition party leaders refuse to attend holiday reception at Erdoğan’s palace

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President Erdoğan is seen with former Turkish PM Tansu Çiller at the reception.

Leaders of the opposition parties in Turkey, except for the head of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), refused to take part in a reception at the presidential palace of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara on the occasion of the 96th anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Republic, according to Turkey’s DHA news agency. 

MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli, who struck an election alliance with Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the past several elections, was the only leader of an opposition party represented in the Turkish Parliament who attended the Republic Day reception on Tuesday.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener and Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-chairpersons Pervin Buldan and Sezai Temelli did not attend the reception, and there were no representatives in attendance from the CHP or HDP, either.

Erdoğan is accused by these opposition parties of destroying the core values of the republic and establishing a one-man rule in the country as Turkey adopted an executive presidency last year that granted Erdoğan extraordinary powers.

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