All the attention has turned to 11th President Abdullah Gül and former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu before the AKP’s referendum started on Saturday in Ankara. Two names, which were invited by PM Binali Yıldırım, are reported to be abroad and did not show up for the big meeting.
Former presidents of Parliament Bülent Arınç and Köksal Toptan, former ministers Suat Kılıç, Sadullah Ergin and Hüseyin Çelik are among the people who called to the meeting.
Foreign missions representatives in Ankara and ambassadors are also invited to the meeting. A total of 500 journalists of whose 60 are foreigner and 400 NGOs are expected to participate to the meeting in Ankara Sport Arena.
The slogans and music prepared for the referendum introduced in the meeting.
AKP Deputy Chairman Fatih Şahin replied the question whether the former AKP deputies were invited or not;
“Invitations sent to all former deputies. There is no former AK Party member for us. Our founders, party administrators, deputy general managers, ministers, deputies, who have served in our party since the establishment, who have served our country, are all special guests to our tomorrow’s meeting. Those who are eligible will attend the program.”
Cumhuriyet reported along with a photo to show that the section reserved for former MPs and leaders in the meeting did not fill, looked empty. Gave the perception that many of former AKP leadership did not have any interest in the campaign and stayed away.
On the other hand Presiden Erdoğan gave dinner to former AKP ministers and deputies in Presidential Complex yesterday. 11th President Abdullah Gül did not attend the dinner while Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım was present at the dinner. Yıldırım wanted to support the referendum campaign from the old deputies in his short speech.
According to Şebnem Hoşgör’s news from Milliyet, former presidents of Parliament Bülent Arınç and Köksal Toptan are also at President Erdoğan’s table. Erdoğan said about the referendum campaign: “We continue to struggle for a reform that we have long been defending. Authorities of the executive will meet at the president who has responsibility directly and dicephaly will end. I visited 7 cities. Our citizens say ‘Why now?’ with the direction of the opposition. We wanted to do this before, but we now have the possibility of passing the constitutional amendment through the Parliament.”