Turkish PM makes cabinet offers, HDP joins, MHP cracks

Turkish PM makes cabinet offers, HDP joins, MHP cracks

Turkish PM makes cabinet offers, HDP joins, MHP cracks

CİHAN photo

Having begun work to form an interim government to act until snap elections scheduled for Nov. 1, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has finally sent letters of proposal to deputies of other parties, asking them to take part in the pre-election government.

A number of members of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which earlier announced that they would decline the offer, have already rejected the invitation, but Tuğrul Türkeş, a prominent figure in the MHP, has announced that he accepted the offer to take a role in the government, despite MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli’s firm stance.

MHP Deputy Head Edip Semih Yalçın said Türkeş should resign immediately, or face expulsion from the party.

He also called on the party’s disciplinary board to meet over the issue. 

Offers from Davutoğlu have also been sent to MHP İzmir deputy and Deputy Chairman Kenan Tanrıkulu, Ankara deputy Tuğrul Türkeş, who is the son of former MHP leader Alparslan Türkeş, and MHP deputy and former interior minister Meral Akşener. 

Tanrıkulu immediately announced his resignation from his post of deputy chairman of the MHP after the invitation, saying he had conveyed his rejection to the Prime Ministry. His resignation was a reaction to the prime minister’s “daring” to make such a proposal to the deputy chairman of the MHP, he stated.

The number of members to be taken from each party group is determined by the parliament speaker according to the constitution and a related chart has been sent to Davutoğlu. Accordingly, apart from the prime minister and the ministers of justice, internal affairs, and transport, who will be independent individuals appointed from inside or outside parliament, Davutoğlu’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) will hold 11 cabinet posts, the CHP will be offered five posts, and the MHP and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) will be offered three posts each.

Letters signed by Davutoğlu were sent to the offices of non-AKP deputies at parliament on Aug. 26, with a deadline to accept or decline the offer by 6 p.m. on Aug. 27 at the latest. The CHP and MHP have both categorically ruled out holding posts in the interim government for their deputies, saying that any member breaking ranks would be subject to disciplinary measures. The HDP, however, stated that it would accept offers, regardless of what portfolio the proposals include.

Posts have been offered to the CHP Istanbul deputies Erdoğan Toprak, Tekin Bingöl and İlhan Kesici, the latter being the son-in-law of former President Süleyman Demirel, as well as CHP Antalya deputy and former CHP head Deniz Baykal, and Ankara deputy Ayşe Gülsün Bilgehan Toker, the granddaughter of former CHP head İsmet İnönü. 

In his first assessment, Baykal said he would act in line with the “party spirit” and will give a comprehensive response to Davutoğlu in his rejection. Toprak also told the Hürriyet Daily that he would not accept the invitation. 

“I will stick to my party’s principles. I will obey the decision of my party. I thank [Davutoğlu] for the offer, but I believe this process is not in line with my and my party’s views,” he said.

HDP Istanbul deputy Levent Tüzel, who is from the leftist wing of the party, İzmir deputy Müslüm Doğan, and Kocaeli deputy Ali Haydar Konca also received invitations. Doğan cited his party’s decision to take part in the interim government and said this formed the basis for his acceptance. 

HDP Co-Chair Figen Yüksekdağ said providing election security was a key factor in their decision to take part in an interim government led by incumbent Prime Minister Davutoğlu.

“We are not forming a coalition with the AKP. We are not forming a coalition with any party. We are fulfilling a responsibility and duty to all peoples of Turkey,” Yüksekdağ told reporters on Aug. 26 before the prime minister invited HDP deputies.

“We have undertaken the responsibility of taking part in the interim election government to make sure the elections are held in security and in an environment softened by a peaceful political climate. This is a priority for us,” she added. 

“We aim to reach a vote rate that pushes the 20 percent band and may force a change in Turkey’s situation,” Yüksekdağ also said, when asked about the party’s goals in the snap election scheduled for Nov. 1.