Erdoğan to AKP and MHP grassroots: Don’t harm ‘People’s Alliance’
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called on the grassroots of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) to not give any damage to the two parties’ “People’s Alliance,” after the MHP leader also blasted rumblings of discontent in both parties.
“We will protect the People’s Alliance together. We will not allow those who want to damage it. Do not let those who would like to cause trouble in the grassroots come between us,” Erdoğan said at a rally in the Central Anatolian province of Nevşehir on June 8.
His comments came after MHP chair Devlet Bahçeli voiced similar concerns in Kayseri on June 7.
“Those who want to cast a shadow on the ‘People’s Alliance’ or play games with it, damaging the alliance and the Yenikapı spirit in relation to it should be careful, especially the AKP’s lawmaker candidates. Do not cause trouble,” Bahçeli told provincial MHP members at an indoor meeting in Kayseri.
“Do not play games with the MHP. Your power is not enough to exclude the MHP,” he added.
The MHP has endorsed Erdoğan’s presidential candidacy following its support for the constitutional amendment shifting Turkey to an executive presidential system, narrowly approved in an April 2017 referendum marred by allegations of fraud.
The two parties have entered into a pre-election alliance for the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections after a legislative change allowing political parties to form such alliances passed in parliament with MHP and AKP votes.
The ruling party and the MHP had emphasized on keeping their political identity in the alliance and are campaigning separately.
While the AKP’s candidate Erdoğan and the AKP have started holding rallies across Turkey, the MHP has chosen to keep its campaign at the local level with close provincial meetings.