Deputy chair denies Reuters report that MHP would back AKP gov’t for polls in November

Deputy chair denies Reuters report that MHP would back AKP gov’t for polls in November

Deputy chair denies Reuters report that MHP would back AKP gov’t for polls in November A deputy chair of Turkey’s opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has denied they would support a minority government formed by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) if it agreed to hold a snap election in November.

“An answer that I gave to a question regarding a minority government has been reported by twisting it and pulling it away from its meaning. It cannot be conceived that our party would approach any option of a minority government positively or warmly,” MHP deputy chairman Semih Yalçın said on Aug. 4.

Yalçın was referring to a Reuters report published one-and-a-half hours earlier. “We will not support an ordinary minority government by the AK Party [AKP], but if the minority government means an election government, we would have to see the election date,” he was quoted as saying in Ankara. “We can support an AKP minority government on the condition of holding an election in November,” he added.

"In a sign of the sensitivities around efforts to form a new government, Yalçın subsequently issued a statement saying his words had been misrepresented. He could not immediately be reached by telephone to clarify his position," Reuters later reported.

Yalçın’s statements came a day after the AKP held its last meeting with the Republican People’s Party (CHP) to form a coalition government. 

Delegations from the AKP and CHP concluded on Aug. 3 exploratory talks in which they 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.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said Aug. 3 the AKP would not hesitate to knock on the door of the MHP if the talks with the CHP fail.

“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 comes 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.

Arınç also said although MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli had previously stated 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.

On Aug. 2, 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 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.