Talk to Erdoğan to solve coalition problems

Talk to Erdoğan to solve coalition problems

There seems to be two visible stumbling blocks in front of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). One is how the relations between the government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will be shaped in a possible coalition scenario. The other is whether the corruption dossier concerning four former ministers will be reopened or not.

Both parties seem like they will be unable to figure out how to overcome that problem if either of them enter a coalition with the Justice and Development Party (AKP).

There is an easy solution if they really want to form a coalition.

I would like to bring to your attention a solution proposed by a member of the AKP. I might lure your attention better if I were to tell you that he had the foresight not to be in the same picture as Reza Zarrab. 

In addition, he has held high positions, including the deputy leadership of the AKP and a post in the cabinet. He is among those that did not return to parliament due to the three-term rule of the AKP that bans parliamentarians from running after three terms as a parliamentarian.

I am talking about Nihat Ergün. He has written a good article for, titled “Coalition and stability in Turkey.”

To the parties that have reached an impasse at forming a coalition, he has suggested a realistic exit strategy devoid of emotions.

First of all, he separates being sensitive to corruption allegations and the ambitions of vengeance. He also separates objections to the president’s actual role and the obsession with Erdoğan.

He does not, therefore, address those with a grudge. 

Ergün’s common sense is the same as those who are genuinely looking for a coalition with good intentions.

His attention is the same as those who are not blinded by questioning the legitimacy of the president due to the hate for Erdoğan and are looking for ways to normalize Turkey.

Do you want the president to go back to within the constitutionally prescribed limits, arguing that in practice he has gone beyond the constitutional framework? Ergün’s solution is simple: Instead of making this a pre-condition of coalition talks with the AKP, talk directly to Erdoğan, he says. If you confuse your interlocutors; you will ensure coalition efforts hit an impasse from the beginning.

In addition, in the event of a coalition, one of the automatic outcomes will be to open a new page in the relations between the government and the president. To force an outcome which is to take place on its own is not that smart.

When it comes to the issue of four ministers… You want to send them to the Supreme Court no matter what? Is that the only thing your constituency wants? Again, this is not an issue for a coalition or government protocol; but the issue of the parliament and the free will of the parliamentarians. It’s wrong to make it conditional. 

Why tie an inspection mechanism to a coalition protocol when, if left in its natural course, will proceed in the right direction?

At any rate, there will be a parliament whose arithmetic will make that possible.

There is an invaluable opportunity, according to Ergün. The opportunity to disrupt the perception that a “single-party government equals stability,” or a “coalition government equals instability.” It could, on the one hand, abolish the perception that Turkey cannot countenance coalition governments due to bad past experiences and, on the other, give substance to the concept of stability.

It will be too bad if they refrain from taking the hard course when the outcome of the elections forces the parties to do so.

I want to underline one more time the fact that these views belong to a politician that has not refrained from criticizing the 13 years of AKP rule, during which he also held responsibilities. Indeed, he published a book last February, “Step by step to power,” where he engaged in solid self-criticism.