The leader of Turkey’s far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has called on the nationalist İYİ (Good) Party, which had previously broken away from the MHP, to set up an election alliance ahead of the local elections scheduled for March 31, a party official has announced.
MHP Deputy Chairman İsmail Özdemir announced during a program on CNN Türk on Thursday evening that MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli had called on the İYİ Party to establish an alliance for the local elections for the “benefit of the country.”
Özdemir also recalled a message Bahçeli released on social media in August 2019 in which he called on former MHP members in the İYİ Party to return to the MHP and that he is now reiterating that call.
The İYİ Party has not welcomed Bahçeli’s call, with its deputy chairman, Tolga Akalın, saying that if Bahçeli wants to establish a “league of nationalists,” his party is already there but would not be part of an alliance where “Turkish nationalism is sacrificed to political Islam.”
İYİ Party leader Meral Akşener, who was a member of the MHP for years, parted ways with the MHP due to disagreements and established her own party in October 2017.
Unlike the MHP, which is allied with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the İYİ Party set up an alliance with the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) before the parliamentary and presidential elections in 2018, which also continued for this year’s presidential and parliamentary elections, when the opposition bloc suffered a significant defeat.
Turkey is scheduled to hold local elections on March 31, 2024.
The opposition bloc, comprising six parties in addition to CHP and the İYİ Party, have signaled that they will not continue their alliance for the local elections.