Fahrettin Altun, the head of Turkey’s Presidential Communication Directorate, has denied a recent media report that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with an unnamed member of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) at his presidential palace, the Diken news website reported.
In a written statement released on Thursday Altun responded to a recent column published by Rahmi Turan in the Sözcü newspaper which claimed that Erdoğan received a CHP politician who he promised to help become the new head of the party.
Altun denounced the claim as unrelated to reality and counterproductive at a time when the country needs to focus on its future amid threats of terrorism and challenges in foreign policy.
“In his 43 years in politics, the president has never interfered with the inner workings of a political party,” Altun said.
This year, Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) suffered significant local election defeats against the CHP, particularly in the country’s two largest cities of İstanbul and Ankara. Several opinion polls released afterwards indicated that the AKP has continued to lose voters.