Diplomatic representatives showed a great interest in the reception given by Ankara Metropolitan Mayor Mansur Yavaş on the evening of October 12.
The Ambassadors of 51 countries and many Undersecretaries of Embassies attended Yavaş’s reception, which marked the 99th anniversary of Ankara’s proclamation as the Capital City on October 13, 1923 by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.
It is noteworthy that the embassies of the USA, China, Germany, France, England, Italy, Switzerland, Israel, and Palestine attended the invitation of Yavaş at the highest level. Diplomatic representation totaled 74 countries, with some countries participating at the second level.
One of the issues that foreign diplomats wondered about the most was whether Mansur Yavaş could be a joint candidate of the six opposition parties’ alliance in the 2023 elections.
In his speech at the invitation, Yavaş said that Ankara, which was the headquarters of the National Struggle, was declared the capital under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and turned into a symbol of freedom and independence with its self-sufficient feature.
Other political subjects that the invitees showed an interest in were the recent trends in polls, which suggest an increase in President Tayyip Erdoğan’s votes among indecisive voters in recent weeks and the lack of coordination within the six opposition parties’ alliance.
Diplomatic and political interest
CHP and IYI Party deputies also showed great interest in the invitation at the level of Vice Presidents. The deputies had arrived in the middle of the debate on the new press law, for which the parliament was in the voting process at that time. Journalists and opposition parties criticise the law as a “censorship law,” while the ruling alliance of Justice and Development (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) argues that it will curb “disinformation” acts.
CHP Deputy Chairman Tekin Bingöl said that some AKP members showed a certain flexibility, but MHP supporters stood firm, saying “we won’t change the dot or comma.”
One of the former Central Bank Governors, Durmuş Yılmaz who is from the IYI Party, was at the centre of questions about the state of the economy. Yilmaz claimed that questions posed to him frequently began with a sarcastic remark like “aren’t we in very good shape?”
CHP members at the event left questions about their leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s recent “Headscarf Law” move and his trip to the USA unanswered. I think, Kılıçdaroğlu’s latest harsh warning to CHP members with a question: “Are you with me?” seemed to have played a part.
The invitation was not at the five-star hotel
Yavaş gave the invitation not at one of the five-star hotels, which is the usual venue for Ankara diplomatic invitations, but at the official residence of the Metropolitan Municipality Mayor in Çankaya, Kızılay, which had been used as the local football club Ankaraspor’s place during Yavaş’s predecessor, Melih Gökçek’s period. Yavaş, who stressed that he lives in his house with his family, said that they will open this official residence to such invitations and meetings from now on.
At the end of the reception, Mayor Yavaş, Ankara Governor Vasip Şahin, and Çankaya Mayor Alper Taşdelen spoke with a group of guests about projects in Ankara, with special emphasis on the renewal of Ulus Square while preserving its historical features.
At the event, where alcoholic beverages were not served, the Seymens, who welcomed Atatürk on his arrival in Ankara, also presented a short folklore show.