Türkiye’s electoral agenda continued to advance at full speed last week.
Last week saw three important developments.
- The campaign for 100,000 signatures of candidates from parties without parliamentary seats to run for the presidency concluded yesterday and the presidential candidates for the May 14 elections were formalized.
- New parties have joined the AKP-led People’s Alliance.
- Doğu Perinçek, the leader of the Vatan Party, gave an interview to the Russian semi-official news agency Ria Novosti on the election process.
The presidential candidates are determined
Candidates from parties without parliamentary seats to run for the presidency are in need to gather 100.000 signatures from March 22 to 27.
Out of a total of 11 candidates, consisting of political party leaders and independent candidates, 2 candidates succeeded in gathering 100,000 signatures.
Here are the results:
Muharrem İnce (The Homeland Party) — 114.661
Sinan Oğan (Ata Alliance) — 111.508
Muhammed Ali Fatih Erbakan (The New Welfare Party) — 69.255 (Withdrew from candidacy by joining the People’s Alliance)
Doğu Perinçek (The Vatan Party) — 27.061
Yakup Türkal — 3137
Erkan Trükten — 2589
Tevfik Ahmet Özal — 1544
İrfan Uzun — 1263
Halil Murat Ünver — 538
Hilmi Özden — 478
Davut Turan — 122
According to these results, Muharrem İnce, the candidate of the Homeland Party, and Sinan Oğan, the candidate of the Ata Alliance, succeeded in gathering 100,000 signatures. Muhammed Ali Fatih Erbakan, leader of the New Welfare Party, withdrew his candidacy after the Party joined the People’s Alliance.
The Vatan Party leader Doğu Perinçek failed to become candidate with 27,061 signatures.
Numerous reports and comments in the media suggest that the Homeland Party leader Muharrem İnce was likely to join the Nation Alliance led by the Republican People’s Party (CHP). CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu and Muharrem İnce have meet on Wednesday 29. According to official statements, no proposal of alliance as made during the meeting. The process of registration concludes on Thursday 30. Thus, after today, the name of a candidate will appear on the ballot, even if he withdraws from the elections.
Currently, there are 4 candidates for the Presidential elections on May 14th:
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (People’s Alliance)
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (Nation Alliance)
Muharrem İnce (The Homeland Party)
Sinan Oğan (Ata Alliance)
New members of the People’s Alliance
Alliances are taking their final shape as Türkiye is heading towards elections.
This week, the People’s Alliance, comprised of the AKP, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Grand Union Party (BBP), was enlarged with the participation of The New Welfare Party known with its Islamic discourse and the HÜDAPAR, which is allegedly linked to Hezbollah (an organization completely different from the Lebanese Hezbollah – Türkiye considers the Turkish Hezbollah, a radical religious organization, officially as a terrorist organization).
President Erdoğan responded to criticism that The Free Cause Party (HÜDAPAR) is linked to terrorism with the following words:
“If there is no harmony, we cannot walk in the People’s Alliance. Currently, there is an ugliness to be attributed to Hüda-Par. Hüda-Par does not accept these, it says, ‘We have nothing to do with terrorism.’ It is a completely local and national structure. I find Hüda-Par‘s support to the People’s Alliance important and valuable.”
MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli also reacted against the critics of HÜDAPAR in a written statement on March 26:
“It is a known fact that the Free Cause Party, which decided to support our president and the People’s Alliance, was founded on Dec. 19, 2012. There has not been any persuasive and substantiated information so far for a clear relationship between the Hizballah terrorist organization and the Free Cause Party.”
“HÜDAPAR announced that it has no ties or connections with any terrorist organization, and this has been expressed by its interlocutors.”
The Vatan Party leader Doğu Perinçek criticized HÜDAPAR’s joining the People’s Alliance. Perinçek said the following:
“Who is the HÜDAPAR? It is Sheikh Said and Seyid Reza. (Feudal landlords who organized religious and ethnically motivated uprisings against the newly established Turkish Republic in the 1920s and 1930s, UWI). What kind of nationalism is this? How does the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Grand Union Party (BBP) accept that? The People’s Alliance will bring HÜDAPAR and the Nation Alliance Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the political arm of the PKK, to the parliament. Can you govern Türkiye with these? That is why the system is collapsing. The Ministry of Finance gave 540 million liras to HDP/PKK as election funds. Can the system that fuels terrorism survive? We will not give that money when we come to power. For this reason, Türkiye needs the Vatan Party.”
Another party that joined the People’s Alliance was the New Welfare Party. The leader of the party Fatih Erbakan withdrew from the presidential candidacy in favor of Erdoğan. Erbakan made the following statements:
“We agreed on principles with President Erdoğan. We did not want to be accused of ‘contributing to the handover of our country to the mentality of the Republican People’s Party again after 60-70 years’. Because there was such a possibility that we would not reach an agreement with the People’s Alliance and become a presidential candidate. We see that all leftist, communist, socialist, atheist fractions have come together in the opposing bloc. We see that Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) completely supports the Nation Alliance. We even see PKK members openly declaring that they want the current government to be overthrown and the opposition bloc to come to power. We did not want to be an occasion for this bloc to win.”
The Daily Sabah newspaper, close to the government, published a survey on presidential elections. The newspaper shared the following comment in case of a second round of the elections:
“The survey shows more than 52% of interviewees would support Erdoğan if the election goes into a second round while the opposition bloc’s candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu garnered only 47.7% support for a possible second round. Kılıçdaroğlu’s CHP, meanwhile, wins only 23.1% of the vote in the parliamentary elections according to the Genar survey.
Vatan Party leader Doğu Perinçek: ‘Pax Turco-Ruso’
Doğu Perinçek, the leader of the Vatan Party, gave an interview to the Russian semi-official news agency Ria Novosti on the electoral process and political developments in the region.
Here are some of the highlights of the interview, which was published by most Russian agencies and some 40 media outlets:
“The Russian Federation is currently Türkiye’s ally on the front line. Russia’s struggle against US imperialism and its pawns in Ukraine is also Türkiye’s struggle. Because NATO’s eastward expansion means an aggravation of the threat to Türkiye.”
“There is a consistent front line in our region that reaches from the Black Sea over the Mediterranean to the Strait of Hormuz. Russia’s struggle in Ukraine is also part of the front line.
Ukraine is Greece in the Black Sea and Greece is Ukraine in the Mediterranean. These two countries are pawns of the US.”
“Türkiye, Russia and Azerbaijan acted together in the liberation of Karabakh and formed a model. The cooperation of Türkiye, Russia and Azerbaijan brought peace to the Caucasus. We can call this Pax Turco-Ruso. We need to apply this model to the Eastern Mediterranean and the north of Syria. Cooperation between Türkiye, Russia, Azerbaijan and Syria is a model for peace in the region. We do not recognize the US sanctions on Russia.”
“According to surveys, 80 percent of the Turkish people see the US as a threat. 70 percent of the Turkish people see Russia and China as friends. Under the Vatan Party government, Türkiye will definitely withdraw from NATO.”
“Crimea is part of the territory of the Russian Federation. The Vatan Party declared that it would recognize the republics formed in Donbass at the very moment of their establishment.”