‘Devlet Bahçeli is no longer immune’
It is always expected that fights will erupt at Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) congresses. When a congress goes by uneventfully, people are surprised, and on Sunday it was demonstrated that this vicious perception is better abandoned.
Bahçeli has achieved several “firsts.” He has prevented candidates from being shoved in the provinces they visit. He has taken maximum measures so that former violent scenes were not repeated.
At the end of the meeting, which otherwise was not exciting, the breakdown of votes was surprising. This was because it was expected that Bahçeli would receive at least 800 to 850 votes, but he received only 725 votes. It was estimated that Koray Aydın would not be able to exceed 300 votes but he received 441.
In comments about this outcome, everyone emphasized the same things, however, it was Şükrü Küçükşahin that appeared to be the most accurate when he said, “Bahçeli is no longer immune.”
A very correct point and I fully agree. It is not at all easy to snatch 441 votes from a 1,100-man congress, especially in an environment where the administration rules. There is an evident problem.
MHP members are not happy with the state of party affairs. It is not yet known whether this new blood will be Koray Aydın or somebody else, however, the wheels have started turning.
It is not clear what the MHP is doing and where it is heading. Sometimes it is adopting policies no different than the ruling Justice and Development Party, other times it nears the line of the Republican People’s Party. The only unchanging factor is the shouting leader. Party members probably started understanding that they would not be able to get anywhere with this language and these policies.
Fateful day in Washington
There are presidential elections in the United States today. The outcome not only affects that country but every other country, including Turkey.
The reason why we are so sensitive is that during the Barack Obama era, Turkish-American relations had never had such a mild period. The dialogue and the working tempo between Ankara and Washington had never been so comfortable.
The Erdoğan-Obama dialogue and the trust they provided for each other also continued with the Davutoğlu-Clinton relationship and influenced almost every layer of bureaucracy.
Indeed, taking into consideration the chaotic situation in the Middle East, it is better understood why this relationship is in its honeymoon stage. The steps Turkey is taking in the region are seen as being in “parallel with the interests of the U.S.” Disputes occur from time to time, but the Americans are used to this. They do not expect an absolute environment of concord on every topic. Well, will this situation change after the elections? Regardless of whether Obama or Mitt Romney wins, a significant change in Turkish-American relations is not expected.