MHP purge continues as eleven administrators removed

MHP purge continues as eleven administrators removed

MHP purge continues as eleven administrators removed

DHA photo

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has removed 11 local party administrators from positions across Turkey, as the fallout continues from the party’s poor performance in Nov. 1, 2015 general election. 

The MHP‘s executive board announced on Feb. 22 that the provincial administrators in Elazığ, Samsun, Tokat, Kırklareli, Tekirdağ, Bayburt, Gümüşhane and Çorum, and the district administrators in former strongholds Elazığ, Bayburt and Gümüşhane have been removed from office. The party announced new appointments to some of these offices within a few hours.

MHP Deputy Chair Şefkat Çetin said in a written statement that disciplinary procedures had been initiated into the removed administrators. 

Unrest in the party began when Tuğrul Türkeş, the former deputy leader and son of late founding leader Alparslan Türkeş, accepted the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) offer of a position in the interim cabinet formed between the elections in June and November last year.  

Türkeş was subsequently expelled from the MHP and is now a deputy prime minister in the AKP government formed after the November election. 

The MHP, which had won 80 seats at parliament in the June 7 election, won only 40 seats in the Nov. 1 election. 

MHP head Devlet Bahçeli’s decision not to nominate Meral Akşener, a respected senior figure within the party, also stirred unrest ahead of the Nov. 1 election. A group of party delegates, mainly supporters of Akşener, collected enough signatures to call an extraordinary congress after the election but Bahçeli has insisted that the congress will not take place until March 2018. 

The opposition’s push has now been taken to the courts. 

“Demands for an extraordinary congress have been issued by some people since Nov. 1. That is their democratic right,” Bahçeli said in December last year, while warning that “13 people” were pursuing the leadership of the MHP and others would also put their names forward.

Sinan Oğan, another popular former MHP deputy, also called for an extraordinary party congress in order to announce his leadership candidacy on Nov. 21.