Meeting with representatives from his party at a fast-breaking meal on Monday, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahceli made statements regarding the coalition negotiations occupying Turkey’s political agenda. His comments indicate a softening of his stance towards forming a coalition government in the national interest.
Sharing his past experiences with his party’s representatives, Bahceli mentioned a previous coalition between the MHP, the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and the Motherland Party (ANAP) between 1999 and 2002.
Giving examples from the MHP’s time in a coalition government, he underlined the differences between coalitions and single-party governments.
“Coalition governments bring parties with different ideologies together. It is difficult, but we have to be patient for the sake of our country,” he said.
“If people become patient enough, most of the issues that are not solved by a one-party government can be solved by coalition a government,” he said, pointing to the ANAP-DSP-MHP coalition as an example.
However, Turkey experienced one of its worst economic crises during this coalition in 2001, which led to an early election in 2002.
Since that early election in 2002, the governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has been the only party in government.
Saying that the MHP will never let Turkey fall into political instability, Bahceli said, “if all potential scenarios fail, the MHP is ready to take responsibility,” signaling that the MHP could move closer to forming a coalition with another political party, most likely the AK Party.
Previously, Bahceli claimed that the Republican People’s Party (CHP) has a secret agenda which involves it forming a coalition the AK Party. Bahceli also slammed the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and accused it of being a “device” of the outlawed PKK.
He stated that the MHP is clear about its principles and will never pursue seats in parliament at the expense of the peace of the nation.
Possible coalition scenarios in Turkey
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will first ask Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to form a new government as he is the leader of the largest party in parliament, the incumbent Justice and Development Party (AKP).
The AKP has 258 seats in parliament and needs a coalition partner to form a government.
If Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is unable to form a coalition with any of the other three parties in parliament tradition dictates the president should offer the second-placed party the chance to create an administration.