CHP to attend Turkey’s coup commemoration event after last-minute invitation

Turkish Parliament

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) spokesperson Bülent Tezcan has announced that CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and the party’s deputies are going to attend an event at Parliament to commemorate the victims of a controversial miltary coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016 to which they were invited at the last minute.

CHP Deputy Chair Veli Ağbaba previously said Kılıçdaroğlu and the party’s deputies were not going to attend the event; however, Tezcan said in a later statement that Kılıçdaroğlu and CHP deputies would attend the event on Friday evening and that Kılıçdaroğlu would deliver a speech.

Initially, neither the CHP nor the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) was invited to the event to be held by the presidency in the courtyard of the parliament building to commemorate the victims of the putsch.

Upon criticism, the parties were invited to the event by the Turkish Parliament Speaker’s Office, which said the chairs of political parties represented in Parliament would give a speech during the event.

HDP spokesperson Osman Baydemir said his party would not attend the ceremony on Friday evening since the invitation was sent to the wrong address.

“We were not invited first, then the invitation was sent to the wrong place because Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş [HDP co-chairs] are currently in jail. The invitation should have been sent to them. They are in jail because of the coup attempt, that is why we will not join.”

Yüksekdağ and Demirtaş were arrested on terror charges last November. Nine other HDP deputies are also behind bars facing similar charges.

Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli are expected to deliver speeches at the event in addition to Kılıçdaroğlu. (SCF with July 14, 2017

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