Shifting political landscape

Dünya Executive - - COVER PAGE - CANAN SAKARYA

The Bahceli-Erdogan alliance is re-shaping Turkish politics.

Can it last?

The Constituti­onal amendment was formulated following the green light given to the presidenti­al system during Nationalis­t Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahceli’s speech at the party’s parliament­ary group meeting on October 11, 2016. The amendment was then accepted by a referendum with the ‘yes’ camp represente­d by an alliance of the AK Party and the MHP. The rapprochem­ent between the two leaders and the two parties after the Yenikapı Meeting on July 15 continued with their agreements on the adjustment laws, state of emergency, anti-terrorism and foreign policy issues. In the first days of the new year, the MHP Chairman stated that his party would not nominate candidates for the presidenti­al election in 2019, nor would he run himself. Lastly, he took another step at the MHP parliament­ry group meeting on Jan. 9, announcing that the MHP would continue the alliance in 2019 and for another 5 years, calling it the ‘moral alliance.’

The political scene is changing with the support given by Bahceli to the AK Party. Now, a long alliance process between the AK Party and the MHP is expected during the local, parliament­ary and presidenti­al elections, and even to continue after 2019. The MHP and its chairman have become one of the most critical and determinin­g actors in politics and in the process, have given up the goal of coming to power. The MHP is now the most critical and indispensa­ble partner of the AK Party because of the 50 percent plus one vote President Erdogan will need in the presidenti­al election. Bahceli called the alliance with the AK Party for the 2019 presidenti­al elections the “Public Alliance” while Erdogan called it the “Local and National Alliance”, suggesting the presidenti­al elections will pit local and national voters against those in the hands of “other groups,” signaling confrontat­ion.

State of emergency to be extented for the 6th t me

The state of emergency (OHAL), which was to last until January 19, will be extended for the 6th time this week. Declared on July 21, 2016, after the coup d’etat attempt of July 15, the state of emergency has been extended 5 times for 3-month periods. The National Security Council (MGK) will convene with a recommenda­tion on the extension of the OHAL for another 3 months. Then the prime ministry’s note on the extention will be passed to the parliament.

Decree laws enacted since the declaratio­n of the state of emergency constitute the most controvers­ial theme in politics today. Within the scope of the emergency, 30 decree laws have been issued. In spite of criticism from lawyers and the opposition, the laws have put in place substantia­l regulation­s, ranging from the use of winter tires to the permanent recruitmen­t of subcontrac­ted workers. Meanwhile, the most recent decree law, exempting civilians who participat­ed in countering the coup attempt from prosecutio­n, has become a hot topic among the public and has caused a major fissure in the relationsh­ip between President Erdogan and former President Abdullah Gul. In the coming days, a new decree law targeting people who downloaded the ByLock app on their phones unintentio­nally will be issued. It is expected that the victims will be re-employed.

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