MHP leader rules out internal turmoil after defeat

MHP leader rules out internal turmoil after defeat

MHP leader rules out internal turmoil after defeat

MHP Leader Devlet Bahçeli while casting his vote on Nov. 1, 2015. AA Photo

Turkey’s nationalist opposition leader has defied criticism directed at his conduct of politics after his party witnessed a dramatic fall in the Nov. 1 snap elections, while also dismissing any prospect of internal party turmoil.

Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which categorically rejected any coalition with the Justice and Development Party (AKP) after the June 7 elections, argued it was the AKP which avoided engaging in any coalition partnership. 

Bahçeli, in a written statement released late on Nov. 1, implied the AKP had managed to get a legislative majority by “triggering social fears” and “using threats and blackmail like weapons.”

“Rather than a victory by the AKP, there is a sociological structure who is deterred by terror, annoyed by suicide bombers, dissuaded by economic dangers and whose will is impeded by anti-democratic practices,” Bahçeli said.

The MHP, a casualty of the rise in AKP support seen in the Nov. 1 polls, saw its share of the vote drop to 12 percent from 16.5 percent in the June 7 parliamentary election. 

According to Bahçeli, his party had been subject to all kinds of “plots” from June 7 to Nov. 1 aimed at leaving it below the 10 percent election threshold needed to enter parliament.

“The Nationalist Movement Party will march on its way with resolved and confident steps without giving concessions from its principles and diverting from its values. Nobody, either from inside or from outside, should make calculations in vain and should believe that the Nationalist Movement would fall into a cycle of instability,” Bahçeli said, vowing his party would continue defending the “legal and historical interests” of Turkey. 

Many analysts associated the party’s policy with the word “no” after Bahçeli was criticized for not opening the doors to any cooperation with either the AKP or the other opposition parties immediately following the June 7 elections.

Bahçeli once again said one day before the elections that his priorities for any coalition was an insistence on the unitary structure of the republic, the retrial of four former ministers who were involved in a now-shelved graft probe from 2013, forcing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan back into a non-executive position and a total cancelation of the Kurdish resolution process. 

The party refused to act in concert with the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which is focused on the Kurdish issue, on any matter, accusing it of having ties with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).