HDP has elected Pervin Buldan and Mithat Sancar as its co-chairs in a congress held in the capital Ankara. "This country is ours. We will govern it" and "Grand politics, grand hope, grand change" were the slogans of the congress. "Freedom" and "Peace" were written on the walls of the hall in different languages. Messages from the party's former co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ were read in the congress.
AKP lawmakers have downplayed any possibility of a coup attempt following debates over a report by the RAND Corporation. The lawmakers couldn't make sense of the debate, since significant changes were made following the July 15 takeover attempt. "The conditions of today are very different from July 15," an AKP official told Duvar, as he listed four differences.
The ruling AKP and its ally MHP have lost respectively 12.56 percentage and 2.3 percentage points of support since the last parliamentary election and would receive respectively 30 percent and 8.9 percent of the votes if Turkey headed to the ballot boxes for another election today, a pollster found.
The son-in-law of the former Istanbul Mayor from the ruling Justice and Development Party, Ömer Faruk Kavurmacı is facing 7.5 to 15 years for affiliation with the Gülen organization, Ankara's prime suspect for the botched coup attempt of 2016. Kavurmacı worked for TUSKON, an alleged business affiliate of the Gülen organization, but turned in a notarized resignation prior to the charges against him.
Former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu disagreed with former President Abdullah Gül's comment that political Islam had collapsed, saying that this was a "parroted concept." Davutoğlu's response came after Gül's public declaration of support for former deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan's new party in the making, an alternative to Davutoğlu's Future Party.
A deputy from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for a photo showing him with businessman George Soros, Ankara's main suspect for having funded the 2013 anti-government Gezi protests. "What does this leg belong to?" said CHP group deputy chairperson Engin Altay as he held up the photo. This was a response to comments made by Erdoğan about Osman Kavala being "Soros' arm in Turkey."
The Turkish Parliament has received 10 summaries of proceedings against six deputies of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), including Sezai Temelli and Pervin Buldan, the party’s co-chairs. If the Parliament votes to strip the deputies of their immunity from prosecution, they will be tried by Turkish courts.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has urged deputies of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to have at least three children. "You stick with having one child. I'm saying at least three. I don't want one child for the vitality of our country," he said, before turning to the deputies with a single child to ask, "Am I right?"
Felicity Party chair Karamollaoğlu has urged the Turkish government to study the suicide theory of French sociologist Durkheim amid growing economic hardship in the country. “Durkheim says, 'If suicides in a society show a sharp increase in a very short period of time, their reasons are not personal but social.' You [gov't] are not giving an ear to us, but listen to Emile Durkheim," Karamollaoğlu said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that a court "attempted" to acquit prominent businessman, human rights activist and philanthropist Osman Kavala with "a maneuver." "We respect all decisions of courts, but our and our people's judgement about Gezi and who supported it will never change," he said.
Presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın has slammed former President Abdullah Gül over his remarks on a controversial meeting held before the June 24, 2018 presidential elections. "The things that were written are not true. To adapt that meeting to the political process and conjuncture that they are newly embarking on is not in line with reality," Kalın said.
AKP members have told President Erdoğan that they are struggling to respond to criticisms directed towards the party, as they commented on the parties of Babacan and Davutoğlu. "We are still at the point that we were at when we founded our party. Those who left are gone. Everyone chose their own destiny," Erdoğan told lawmakers, while criticizing the deputies for acting passive.
Tensions ran high in Turkish parliament on Feb. 18 after a deputy of the ruling AKP referred to the 2013 Gezi Park protests as "vandalism" and "thuggery." The CHP and HDP reacted against these remarks, saying that the government's harsh response against Gezi Park occupiers was in fact what constituted as "vandalism."
Turkey's former President Abdullah Gül has suggested returning to a parliamentary system. "I would prefer a fully democratic parliamentary system," Gül said, while voicing support for Ali Babacan. "I, of course, support him and his party. I trust and think highly of Babacan's character, education, knowledge and wording in politics," Gül said.
Ahmet Davutoğlu, the former prime minister who quit the ruling AKP to form the rival Future Party last year, has announced that he has withdrawn as a plaintiff from all criminal cases involving offenses against him, including the 2013 Gezi Park case. "The purpose of our chairman's decision is that everyone in society lets go of the past and faces the future," said a statement released by the Future Party on Feb. 17.