Turkey-Russia: Turkish opposition calls Putin congratulatory call to Erdoğan ‘diplomatic blunder’
Russian President Vladimir Putin called his Turkish counterpart Erdoğan to congratulate him for the success of his party at the June 7 election, a call that normally should be addressed to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu who per the Turkish constitution is the head of the AKP party not Erdoğan who should, according to the constitution, be impartial.
Gürsel Tekin, secretary-general of the CHP, the main opposition party, argued that Putin’s call was a clear indication that Erdoğan was still seeing himself as head of the ruling party not as an impartial president.
“We are not the only ones who claim the president is not impartial despite the position he is holding. Everyone is aware of that. If not, doesn’t Putin know who to call? Even Mr. Erdoğan’s friend understands that Mr. Erdoğan sees himself as the leader of the AK Party, not as the president. He [Putin] calls the president for the election result that the AK Party recorded,” Gürsel said before adding, “Even Putin doesn’t see you as a point to stop at [and congratulate], Mr. Davutoğlu.”
Oktay Vural, a lawmaker in MHP party was harsher in his critics and wished someone would teache Putin diplomatic protocols.
“Moreover, according to Turkey’s system, the addressee on energy issues is not the president but the government, the prime minister. Someone has to tell Putin these things,” Vural said.
A statement from the Russian presidency displayed on the official websites indicated that Putin made a congratulatory call to Erdoğan following the victory of the ruling party AKP that Erdoğan co-founded.
“The two presidents discussed current bilateral relations, issues related to big joint projects in the energy sector, and preparations for the sixth meeting of the High Level Russian-Turkish Cooperation Council, which will take place in Kazan in the fourth quarter of 2015,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the EU congratulated the Turkish for the high turnout (86 per cent) and said that it was a clear indication of the strength of the Turkish democracy.
European Parliament’s (EP) Turkey Rapporteur Kati Piri highlighted the thirst for change of the Turkish people which has been translated into the victory of democracy.
“No further concentration of power — but a peaceful and sustainable conclusion of the peace process with the Kurdish community and a need for parties to compromise — that is the outcome of the elections,” she said. “Despite problems during the campaign and the pressure exerted on journalists and media outlets, the people proved the resilience of Turkish democracy; with a very high turn-out of 86 percent, and the participation of some 50,000 civic volunteers at the ballot boxes, Turks elected [its] most inclusive and representative parliament ever. This is a victory for democracy,” she said.