Turkey’s far-right leader calls on offshoot party members for reunification

Devlet Bahceli, leader of the Turkish far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) who is an ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on former members currently in a breakaway opposition party to reunite, the T24 news website reported on Thursday.

The call came two days before the nationalist opposition Good Party (IP)’s extraordinary meeting, which is scheduled to take place on August 3 and 4.

Posting a series of tweets on his personal account on Thursday evening, Bahceli said that he expects those “who are physically with the IP and mentally with the MHP” to act with a joint resolution and come back to his party.

“It’s time to embrace [one another]. The move during the Good Party’s extraordinary meeting to integrate and unite with the MHP will allow Turkey to become stronger,” the MHP chairman emphasized.

On October 25, 2017, the IP was formed by its current leader Meral Aksener as well as former main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) members and those from the MHP who were disgruntled with Bahceli’s alliance with Erdogan.

The party was established as an opposing alternative for right-leaning voters frustrated with both the MHP and the ruling AKP.

“A good part of our friends whom we walked and struggled together have not found what they were looking for [in IP] and were pushed aside,” Bahceli said referring to the formation of the IP.

“Alliance with the CHP and [pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party] HDP has been carved in memories as negligence that cannot be accepted by none of my idealist friends who have a conscience,” he added.

The IP formed an alliance with the secular CHP during the parliamentary and presidential elections last year as well as in the March 31 local polls.

The pro-Kurdish HDP did not present candidates for the March 31 election in major cities and Kurdish votes played a significant role in opposition victories against the ruling AKP in Turkey’s business hub Istanbul and the capital Ankara.

President Erdogan unexpectedly visited the MHP leader at his house prior to his reunification call on Wednesday.

“Mr. Erdogan, what did you say to this friend this time?” IP leader Aksener asked the president on her official Twitter account, as a reply to Bahceli’s call.

She also posted a video where she bursts into laughter, saying, “This is great, my dear.”

‘Good autocrat’ Erdogan has decided voters want more of same -Bloomberg

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