Yıldırım says AKP may ally with MHP in election
Vahap Munyar - LONDON
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) may form an alliance with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in the 2019 elections, specifically referring to their alliance in support of the April 2017 referendum on shifting to an executive presidential system.
“Certainly, in order to secure stability and single-handed powerful rule, with greater support, we could form such an alliance [with the MHP]. The aim is 50-percent-plus-one, not more,” Yıldırım told reporters on Nov. 28 during an official visit to the United Kingdom.
“We think like the MHP on many subjects. We already made a de facto alliance in the constitutional amendment process [on a presidential system] for the preparation of the amendment, its approval in parliament, the referendum campaign, and in defending it. We almost worked together with each other until the [referendum],” he said.
“The MHP has made positive contributions in many regulations, especially on national matters,” Yıldırım added, particularly praising the party’s stance following the July 2016 coup attempt.
As current legislation does not allow any formal pre-election alliances between two political parties, the prime minister hinted that necessary changes can be made to the Political Parties Law and the Election Law.
“Why would we not act together with a party that we already act together with in many subjects? There are no obstacles to this,” he said.
‘We listen to Trump, not the Pentagon’
Meanwhile, responding to questions concerning recent statement from the Pentagon saying it is reviewing “adjustments” in weapon supplies to the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), Yıldırım said Ankara pays more attention to the words of U.S. President Donald Trump.
“Our addressee is the president of the U.S. It is his words that are binding. If institutions talk against each other, that is their problem,” Yıldırım said.
“We have expressed our thoughts and inconveniences on every occasion and we will continue to do so,” he said.
On Nov. 27, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said a phone conversation between Trump and Erdoğan was a “turning point,” as Trump reportedly vowed to put an end to the U.S.’s weapons supplies to the YPG, which is linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
“The ‘we will not give weapons’ remark, coming from a U.S. president for the first time, is important. But it will lose value if it is not implemented. It would amount to deceiving the world,” Bozdağ said.
After Bozdağ’s comments, Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said on Nov. 27 that the Pentagon is “reviewing pending adjustments to the military support provided to our Kurdish partners, in as much as the military requirements of our defeat-ISIS and stabilization efforts will allow preventing ISIS from returning.”