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Turkey's two main parties hold final round of coalition talks

Republican People's Party leader Kilicdaroglu to meet AK Party's Davutoglu on Thursday for last attempt to agree or not on coalition
Turkish Prime Minister and Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Ahmet Davutoglu and CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu in Ankara on 10 August (AFP)

Turkey's Republican People's Party (CHP) on Wednesday gave its leader the authorisation to form - or not -  a coalition with the Justice and Development (AK) Party in the final discussions to be held on Thursday.

Deputy chairman Ozgur Ozel said in a press conference at the party headquarters in Ankara that the party had given the head of the party Kemal Kilicdaroglu full authorisation to form a coalition.

"The CHP leader will be there to form a government with his goodwill and self-sacrifice [on Thursday]," he said.

"Our party thinks that it has made the biggest self-sacrifice to bring the coalition talks to this level with a party that has been managing the country for 13 years [in a manner which we oppose]," he said, adding that it remained to be seen whether AK Party would make a sacrifice for Turkey.

"Tomorrow we will come to the table with the request for a four-year government," Ozel stated.

Since the 7 June general election, after the first-placed AK Party lost its majority in parliament, four parties have been negotiating over a possible coalition government, with the focus being on a deal between the two largest groups, the AKP and the CHP.

Following a series of exploratory talks between both sides, mainly over foreign policy, education and the economy, AK Party leader Ahmet Davutoglu, also prime minister, and CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu met on Monday.

The pair are set to meet once again on Thursday for a final discussion to decide on a coalition.

In a move widely interpreted as a strong sign of his desire for an early election, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he does not have any authority to extend the approaching deadline for the forming of a new coalition.

“I do not have any authority to stretch out the 45-day [deadline],” Erdogan said, responding to questions late on Tuesday. 

Therefore, if a 23 August deadline expires without the formation of a coalition government, Turkey will hold new parliamentary elections by the end of the year.

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