MHP leader mocks CHP offer, lines up conditions for AKP coalition
'Will the president remain in a constitutional framework?' asks MHP leader Bahçeli. DHA photoDevlet Bahçeli, the leader of Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), has personally mocked a suggestion by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who offered him the prime minister’s seat in a possible coalition government, also lining up conditions to found a government with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
“Will the president remain in a constitutional framework?” Bahçeli asked in an interview published June 20 on daily Sözcü, referring to the involvement of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in politics, as he was speaking on conditions to found an AKP-CHP government.
The coalition talks have already heated up before the new deputies have not sworn in after the June 7 elections, at which the AKP lost its parliamentary majority, but netted some 40.9 percent of the votes.
The MHP leader also said Erdoğan should move from the newly built presidential palace to Çankaya, the traditional presidential building before the more-than 1,000 room new palace was erected in Ankara.
An end to the ongoing talks to find a peaceful solution to the lingering Kurdish problem, dubbed as the “resolution process,” is another condition for Bahçeli, who has been critical about the process that also involves the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader, Abdullah Öcalan.
Bahçeli also insists on the retrial for the four former ministers, who were acquitted both at court and at the parliament after being accused in a large graft probe launched on Dec. 17, 2013. The illegal wiretappings, which went viral simultaneously with the probe, also contained alleged voice recordings of Erdoğan and his family members.
“Give us Bilal, take the government,” Bahçeli said, addressing AKP leader Ahmet Davutoğlu, in a reference to Bilal Erdoğan, the president’s son.
Securing the first four items of the constitution is also another condition for his party, Bahçeli said.
“If they come out with these conditions, we will not only give a hand but our whole body,” he said, adding that these conditions were also valid for teaming up with another party.
However, while commenting of Kılıçdaroğlu’s offer for the prime minister’s seat, he replied negatively.
“Is this a new kind of toy exported from China,” he said, mockingly.
“We welcome such an offer in respect but now it is impossible to comment further,” he said. “Which means, it won’t happen, I do not think so.”
Kılıçdaroğlu’s offer was also published on daily Sözcü, which run an interview with the CHP leader a day earlier.
Before Bahçeli, an MHP deputy had ruled out such an option.
"We will not take part in such a coalition [with HDP support]," MHP deputy Yusuf Halacoglu told reporters on June 19.
"[Bahceli] will not give ground on principles for the sake of being prime minister."
A possible CHP-AKP coalition requires support by the Kurdish-issue focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) also to reach the parliamentary majority.
The initial coalition option is the one between the AKP and the HDP, Bahçeli retreated.
“As the MHP, we do not want to be a part of the government but the main opposition,” he said.
The party leader did not rule out a snap election option.
“If there comes out a government crisis, the most health path is returning to the national will,” he said, adding that Nov. 15 this year would be an appropriate date for a possible snap poll.