AKP can go to MHP if CHP talks fail: Turkish Deputy PM
AFP photoThe Justice and Development Party (AKP) has come to a positive phase in their coalition talks with the Republican People’s Party (CHP) but will not hesitate to knock on the door of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) if the talks fail, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has said.
“The ongoing talks with the CHP have reached a positive phase. I believe that the stages that can be seen as negative could be solved with the contributions of Mr. [CHP leader Kemal] Kılıçdaroğlu. But if the day come when Kılıçdaroğlu says, ‘Sorry, but we will not form a government [with you],’ then we will alter our course to the MHP. I believe we can form a government [with the MHP] if we can reach a common understanding,” Arınç told private news channel NTV on Aug. 3.
Arınç also said that although MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli had previously stated that he did not want to be part of a coalition government, he would take action for the sake of the country when needed.
“I can accept that a party focused on the opposition may not want to join a coalition government. But [Bahçeli] may not leave Turkey without a government when he believes that ‘they need me.’ At that moment, the meetings could be conducted in a short period of time and could produce positive results,” he said.
Arınç’s remarks came a day after Bahçeli signaled a possible coalition with the AKP on the condition that the party end its corrupt policies and remove corrupt politicians. Bahçeli metaphorically suggested that the AKP should be cleaned with washing machine detergent.
“Parliament will send the corrupt politicians to the top court. They cannot accept this condition because they cannot dare to do so. If they do, let’s form a coalition together. Then we will put all the detergents in Turkey into a pool and pour water on it. We will put the AKP’s 12 years of rule in it and the AKP government will be cleaned there. Then we will open our arms and accept them into the MHP [coalition],” Bahçeli said Aug. 2.
Meanwhile, delegations from the AKP and CHP concluded exploratory talks in which they have examined each other’s lines on main political issues in a bid to see whether there is ground for the formation of a grand coalition.
“After this meeting, the two chairmen will probably come together. ‘Whether a coalition government will be formed or not’ will be decided at that meeting,” Akif Hamzaçebi, one of the member of the CHP’s delegation, told reporters Aug. 3 before the last meeting with the AKP team.
The two teams met five times and examined important political issues, including the new constitution, democratization, the economy, the judiciary and terrorism. The teams dived into foreign policy in their last meeting, an area on which the two parties differ sharply.
EU Minister Volkan Bozkır joined the meeting yesterday, although he is not a member of the AKP delegation, while deputy CHP leader Murat Özçelik was also present at the meeting as foreign policy was discussed in-depth. The two delegations discussed Turkey’s EU policy and education policies as well in their last meeting.
“Turkey needs a strong and reformist government for a four-year term. We have no time to waste with election governments. Scenarios of a snap election in 45 days or forming a minority government to go to the polls in a year or two will only worsen Turkey’s problems,” Hamzaçebi said.
“Coalition governments require compromise. As our chairman has already expressed, the CHP is ready to take this step,” he said.
CHP, HDP to meet on Kurdish peace process
The Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu will host the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş in his office in parliament Aug. 4, as Demirtaş is set to make a visit to Kılıçdaroğlu on the already-stalled Kurdish peace process following the end of the “ceasefire.”
Demirtaş will brief Kılıçdaroğlu on each phase of the Kurdish peace process as well, while he will get insights from Kılıçdaroğlu on the CHP’s approach toward the solution of the Kurdish problem.