Competition from the right for the AKP
Former Turkish interior minister and MP for the right-wing nationalist MHP, Meral Akşener, has founded a new party. After a major row last year with MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli over his support for Erdoğan and the latter's presidential system, Akşener, who enjoys strong support among Turkey's right, wants to form a secular centre-right opposition. What are the party's chances of success?
New party has potential
The new party's founders stand a good chance of success, Hürriyet Daily News believes:
“Those names could attract MHP voters who are against Bahçeli’s ongoing policy of giving strong and strategic support for Erdoğan. They could also attract some voters from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) in rural Anatolia due to their staunch nationalistic stance, especially on the Kurdish problem. But it is not clear how they will attract urban centre-right voters: neither the rhetoric nor the names in the showcase so far seem up to that task. ... Still, Turkish politics has always tended to be open to the ventures of new parties - if they emerge at the right time. The AK Parti is a good example of that, as it took power just a year after its establishment in 2001.”
In the service of the Hoca Efendi
The new party is a project of the Gülen Movement which is held responsible for last year's failed coup, Yeni Şafak writes:
“The parallel state (Gülen) tried very hard to make Meral Akşener leader of the MHP in the first half of last year. … In those days Ms Akşener announced everywhere she went: 'I will become prime minister'. In the end she became neither leader of the MHP nor prime minister! … If the attempted coup of 15 July 2016 had succeeded, whom would the terrorist organization Fetö, which belongs to Nato, the US and the CIA, have made prime minister? The answer to this question is clear! Meral Akşener said years ago 'One day everyone will understand our Hoca Efendi [Gülen]. Happy are those that already understand him'.”