THE CORRIDOR : Will the alliance of Baykal and Sav to yield result?
The showdown between the old and new administration of Turkey’s main oppositional Republican People’s Party, or CHP, following the disappointing election results has opened the door to an alliance between the contentious names former party leader Deniz Baykal and former secretary-general Önder Sav.
Following the sex tape scandal that forced Baykal to step down from his position last year, Sav had turned his back on Baykal and supported current leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s candidacy. Sav, however, also resigned from his position after a disagreement with Kılıçdaroğlu. Ultimately, Kılıçdaroğlu brought Baykal to Parliament, but left Sav off the list.
The former duo, following the disappointing June 12 general elections, are testing out the waters for a possible alliance. While the two have yet to meet directly, their right hand men were in contact last week. Yılmaz Ateş for Baykal spoke with Hakkı Süha Okay for Sav and agreed that the main goal should be to get enough support to hold an extraordinary convention because the elections were a failure, the axis within the CHP is shifting, and the party assembly must change.
Meanwhile, the one subject they could not agree on was the party leader. Baykal’s team, knowing that they can’t bring Baykal back, think that Kılıçdaroğlu should stay as party leader. Sav’s team, however, agree that the party needs a new leader.
Baykal and Sav, despite not speaking since the incidents last year, could even meet up to discuss matters personally in the coming weeks. So far, no attempts have been made to get signatures to hold an extraordinary meeting.
Eyes on MHP
The oath ceremony in Parliament will divert attention to the Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, who are experiencing their own tense times.
İhsan Barutçu was booted from the MHP following the sex tape scandals, but refused to step back from his candidacy and was thus selected as the deputy for Istanbul following the elections.
Party leader Devlet Bahçeli has expressed his opposition to Barutçu, sparking rumors that there may even be physical intervention to Barutçu during the ceremony.
The Hürriyet Daily News spoke to an influential member of the MHP, who said that while punches will not be thrown, a few words may be directed at Barutçu during the ceremony.
‘They are on list but not in Parliament’
The elections were unlucky for quite a few people this year. 22 deputies selected as candidates by party leaders did not make it back in to Parliament.
From the ruling Justice and Development Party, Şevket Gürsoy, Ahmet Koca, Abdurrahman Arıcı, Fatih Metin, Abdulmuttalip Özbek, and Fevzi Şanverdi were left out of Parliament.
Left out of the CHP were Akif Ekici, Yaşar Ağyüz, Ali Arslan, Yaşar Tüzün, Ahmet Küçük, Çetin Soysal, and Mehmet Ali Özpolat.
From the MHP; Cemaleddin Uslu, Zekai Özcan, Şenol Bal, Recep Taner, Erdal Sipahi, Hasan Çalış, Osman Durmuş, Kadir Ural, Murat Özkan, and Behiç Çelik.
Independent candidates Zülfükar İzol and Akın Birdal were also left out of Parliament.
Thousands of seats
So how many seats are there in Parliament? Believe it or not, but that total number is five thousand! Every deputy gets two seats, one in the assembly hall and the other in their offices, with other seats in the group halls, backstage, and the commission rooms. There are also the bureaucrats, the consultants, and secretaries.
With so many chairs, keeping Parliament clean can be expensive. During the cleaning contracts bidding, one company asked for 17 million TL for the 1,300 seats at the general assembly hall.
So, Parliament rolled up it’s sleeves and ordered the leather varnish from the United States and cleaned the seats with the existing staff, saving the government 12 million TL.
Two rival constituion professors in same room
Parliament’s new term will also be interesting for AKP Istanbul deputy Burhan Kuzu and CHP Eskişehir deputy Süheyl Batum.
The duo shared an office for 15 years at Istanbul University when they were Constitution professors. They are extremely close friends, who were elected to rival parties during the elections, and are now preparing to face each other for the first time after standing side by side for so many years.
The two are set to serve on the Compromise Commission on Constitution and only time will tell if their close ties can survive the political world