AK Party-CHP coalition talks reach turning point

Turkey’s governing Justice and Development Party and its main opposition Republican People’s Party delegations finish coalition talks, say ultimate decision to form government will be made by respective leaders

Courtesy of: AA
Courtesy of: AA

Turkey’s governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and its main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) delegations have concluded their marathon coalition talks. The party spokesmen have stated that the ultimate decision to form a government will be made by the AK Party leader Ahmet Davutoglu and the CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu.

The party representatives have gathered for the fifth time, engaging in an almost 8-hour long meeting in the Ankara Palace State Guesthouse on Monday.

Omer Celik, who is the AK Party representative for the coalition talks, has commented on the negotiations saying that, “We will present our talks to our party chairman [Davutoglu] and authorised councils of our party. Our delegations mission has ended. We have discussed with our CHP interlocutors all the points of the talks with mutual politeness and respect.”

The CHP representative Haluk Koc has said, “As of this evening we have done our mission. We have had both disagreements and agreements on the main topics of the coalition talks. Our Prime Minister Davutoglu will decide the rest. If there will be a consideration in respect to our party [by the AK Party], we will consider it also,” in a press conference following the latest meeting.

A similar coalition government was established in 1974 between the National Salvation Party (MSP) and the CHP. The MSP is considered as the godfather of the current AK Party.

Back then, the CHP leader Bulent Ecevit and the MSP leader Necmettin Erbakan were able to establish a coalition government during a critical time when the country was facing a serious crisis connected to the Cyprus problem. Both leaders have been credited with addressing the issue with a decisive joint front.

Now, Turkey is also facing several problems both internally and externally. The country has been fighting against the PKK terrorist group inside its territory since mid-July, it is bombing the PKK targets in northern Iraq.

The PKK is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey,  EU, and the US.

Turkey has also been conducting air strikes against ISIS targets in northern Syria following the group's attack on Turkish military personnel in late July on its southern province of Kilis near the Syrian border.  

Coincidentally the CHP-MSP coalition also launched its Cyprus military intervention in late July of 1974. However, in the end, the coalition only lasted for seven months.

The AK Party leadership usually identifies the CHP with the practices of the autocratic secular rule of Turkey’s old guard which emerged in an alliance between bureaucratic and military elites during 1940's following the death of Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.  

Turkey had been under the management of successive one-party rule governments dominated by CHP until the main opposition Democratic Party, a moderately right-wing party, overwhelmingly won Turkey’s first democratically held election in 1950.

The AK Party considers the Democratic Party of 1950's as its predecessor not only chronologically but also in terms of political thinking and action planning. Both parties share the same  liberal and moderate conservative political stances.

Davutoglu commented on the AK Party’s relationship with the Democratic Party in May 2015 by saying that “One was representing Turkey in the 1950's, and the other is representing Turkey by bringing stability and trust from 2002 to now.”  

He said, “There have always been two major movements in this country. One defends freedoms, national values, and democracy represented by a political line from Democratic Party to the AK Party with leaders like Adnan Menderes, Turgut Ozal, Erbakan, and our President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.”

“Opposite of this political line is represented by an axis of evil,” he added implying the CHP.

The CHP regards itself as the leftist political party of Turkey.

The CHP was founded in 1920's as the governing party by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of Republic of Turkey, and the first president of the country following the formation of the republic.

Turkey emerged as a country after Ataturk, a former Ottoman officer, and his comrades fought an independence war against the Greeks, Armenians, and the supporting Allied Forces, refusing the occupation of the  Allied countries in the last remaning lands of the Ottoman Empire in the Anatolia and Thrace as a result of World War I.




TRTWorld and agencies