Main opposition leader, ex-Erdoğan ally Davutoğlu signal future cooperation

Turkey’s main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Tuesday paid a visit to Ahmet Davutoğlu, former prime minister and leader of the new opposition Future Party, with the pair agreeing to mutual consultation in the days ahead.

The two-hour visit from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader for the purpose of congratulating the former ally of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the establishment of the Future Party, was important in terms of forming a common discourse, Habertürk news site quoted Kılıçdaroğlu as saying in a press conference following the meeting that took place at the Future Party headquarters in Ankara.

"We expressed the longing for a Turkey where everyone can freely express their thoughts,’’ the CHP leader said. The two leaders also discussed current problems facing Turkey, including the economy.

Davutoğlu was the prime minister and chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) from 2014 to 2016 until he fell out with Erdoğan and was forced out. He resigned from the party in September of last year before starting the AKP rival Future Party in December.

When asked by journalists if the pair discussed a political alliance ahead of the next general elections scheduled for 2023, Kılıçdaroğlu said the topic had not been addressed.

Davutoğlu said that it was important to maintain ties with the CHP as Turkey’s oldest party, and that the Future Party had been seeking to form a political platform that embraced the whole of Turkish society.

 "I would like to thank (Kılıçdaroğlu) for the visit. We are determined to continue with consultations at every point in the period ahead,’’ Davutoğlu said.

The Future Party leader on Tuesday told Sözcü newspaper that he was open for dialogue with jailed former co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş, following a call by the latter for unity among the country’s opposition parties.