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Former parliament speaker refuses Erdoğan’s offer to sit on high advisory board

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Former Parliament Speaker Hikmet Çetin has refused an offer for a position on the Presidential High Advisory Board, a new body established by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who invited all former parliament speakers and deputy speakers to sit on the board, the HaberTürk news website reported on Wednesday.

Former Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Çetin served as speaker of parliament between 1997 and 1999.

However, Bülent Arınç, Köksal Toptan, Mehmet Ali Şahin, Cemil Çiçek, İsmet Yılmaz and İsmail Kahraman, former speakers from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), have all accepted the offer to serve on the board.

Meanwhile, Abdülkadir Aksu, a former AKP executive and former interior minister, was appointed as the chair of the board of Vakıfbank, a state-owned bank. Former AKP executive Sadık Yakut was also assigned to the board.

Former AKP minister Faruk Çelik has also accepted a position on state bank Ziraat’s board.

The assignments came after rumors circulated that former President Abdullah Gül and former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu have been engaged in efforts to establish new political parties.

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