Shifting political landscape
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.