Why choose the AK Party and MHP coalition? - EROL GÖKA

Why choose the AK Party and MHP coalition?

Turkey is debating possible coalition scenarios. Rumor has it that the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD), as well as deputies and party administrators from the AK Party and the Republican People's Party (CHP) are generally in favor of a coalition between the AK Party and the CHP. Spokespersons of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) overtly express that they want this coalition. On the other hand, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) seems like it has a view which strictly leaves out the HDP, and is not fully against the possibility of early elections. We know and hear about the existence of some circles which work hard to ensure that the CHP, HDP and the MHP come together somehow. Personally, I think this last formula is not suitable for our sociological reality and political traditions, and that such a possibility would mean we should get ready for going upside down, and I pray and make the effort to ensure that it does not happen. Devlet Bahçeli's -the chairman of MHP- uncompromising stance regarding a coalition with the HDP, despite the offer given to him by CHP chairman Kılıçdaroğlu to become the prime minister of such a coalition, is promising.… I exclude the HDP –from a possible coalition with the AK Party- for having a double agenda, its fickle and unreliable stance during the resolution process, while I exclude the CHP for having the potential to for debilitating the struggle between the Old and New Turkey and that the country would be left without a main opposition without it. A coalition between the AK Party and the MHP seems the most reasonable and appropriate to me. Research on public opinion indicates that a majority of the nation, especially the AK Party and MHP electorates share the same views as I do. Many non-governmental organizations and the Independent Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (MÜSİAD) are also of the same view. It would really be a nice theme to analyze which people want what type of a coalition, but let us defend our own thesis for now.

Beside many secondary reasons, the main justification to defend a coalition between the AK Party and MHP is that it provides an opportunity to switch to the sociological framework of the presidential system, expected to be implemented in the future, as the supporter base of both parties have similarities… Of course this designation does not mean that the presidential system should be the pre-condition for this coalition. The presidential system may not even be mentioned during the coalition. What is important is that our political system be shaped by similar bases, and finding reciprocity and harmony between the societal and political spheres. The AK Party's unity with the MHP would automatically bring the CHP and HDP closer. The election period has shown how both of these parties are so close to uniting under “Leftist Kemalism." Without a doubt, the same cannot be said -about the similarities between the AK Party and MHP bases- for the CHP and HDP bases, but I think this political positioning will ultimately evolve into a two-party system. I suppose that the convergence between the AK Party-MHP and the CHP-HDP will also contribute to normalization as we prepare our society to for a two-party system.

Another important reason for the AK Party-MHP coalition is to bring Turkish nationalists into the resolution process… By “bringing into the resolution process" I do not mean that the MHP should fully be pro-resolution process. The resolution process which surely will take a new shape after all that has been done, could be re-designed in a way to eliminate MHP's concerns. By taking the ministries regarding public order, the MHP can assure that the society's and its own concerns regarding the process could be soothed. On the other hand, the AK Party could redress the balance by undertaking the role of the guarantor to ensure that the continuation of gains regarding the Kurdish identity and Kurds should not cause any worry. While all of this is taking place, the understanding that politics is the way to disarm the outlawed PKK and the resolve issues will continue as usual.

I am aware that there are many obstacles in front of the AK Party-MHP coalition. Before everything, there are those who try to bring about other coalition possibilities. Aside from the fact that the number of seats is higher, if the AK Party forms a coalition with the CHP and this possibility whets some people's appetite, who defend it for economic stability and eliminating polarization, it is politically comical and impossible and very dangerous in the long run… The attempts to establish a government bloc out of the CHP-MHP-HDP trio, which is solely brought to the agenda to change the rulers by those filled with hatred, is nothing but a sociological and political fool's errand… Even if we exclude these weak possibilities and assume that there is a way towards the AK Party-MHP coalition –which we prescribed and desired above-, there is still a long way in front of Turkey, which is full of obstacles. One of the primary obstacles is that we cannot predict which way the HDP's structure will change.

Yes, the HDP is now the largest party bringing all Kurds together. Despite its target to define itself as a leftist Turkish party, the HDP is now is completely under an ethnic party identity. In our region, there is a conjuncture and U.S. power which attempts to persuade people into the Kurdish ethnic movement by showing ISIL. It is evident that for the Kurds their ethnic identity will continue to dominate all other identities for a while. I am hopeful for democracy in our country, despite this exhausting picture. I think the rising Kurdish ethnic identity consciousness will carry a “disintegrationist" character for a while, but I do not read it as a “separatist" tendency. We don't know what type of a reading the HDP will make and if it will preserve its ideal to become a party of Turkey –which it claimed to promote before the elections-. The attitude of the outlawed PKK's imprisoned leader Abdullah Öcalan is also unknown. The more we show a calm and secure stance amidst this equation with multiple variables, the possibility of Turkey being the winner will increase.

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