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Erdoğan vote crisis in MHP

Former Idealist Hearths Chair and Istanbul MP Atila Kaya’s solicitation not to vote for Erdoğan points to unease within the party over Erdoğan’s candidacy.
Yayınlanma tarihi: 16 Mayıs 2018 Çarşamba, 10:00

[Haber görseli]

Underlying former Idealist Hearths Chair and Istanbul MP Atila Kaya’s solicitation not to vote for the AKP and its presidential candidate Erdoğan is the campaign that has been gaining ground for some time within the MHP that favours voting for their own party but not for Erdoğan in the presidential election. This tendency, which has been silently promoted and spread within the MHP and constitutes the soft underbelly of the AKP-MHP alliance, was given outward expression by the comment that Atila Kaya made yesterday. Atila Kaya has for some time been known for his opposition leanings as an Istanbul MP for the MHP, which is influential in the Idealist Hearths of which he was chair. He did not join the opposition that Meral Akşener started in the MHP and did not later join the Good Party and remained in his party. However, he has maintained staunch opposition to both the alliance his party made with the AKP and to Erdoğan being fielded as the MHP’s presidential co-candidate. Kaya reacted to MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli’s comment, “Our candidate is Erdoğan” with Attila İlhan’s lines, “A blind oarsman saw the murder. I saw and my ears saw. The steamship went crazy and bellowed as if rabid. None of you were there.” Kaya numbered among five figures who did not apply to restand for parliament in the 24 June elections, along with former umbrella candidate Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, former Deputy General Chair with Responsibility for Organisational Affairs Şefkat Çetin, Kahramanmaraş MP Oğuz Tor and Sakarya MP Zihni Açba. In the statement he made yesterday, Atila Kaya directly appealed to MHP voters, “Vote for your own party. Don’t vote for the AKP and its presidential candidate Erdoğan.” Through this comment, Kaya has given voice to the silent tendency that set in among party members after Bahçeli announced the alliance with the AKP and Erdoğan as their presidential candidate. At the outset, such a tendency was inconceivable to either the MHP management or AKP management, because, following the departure and forming of the Good Party by Akşener, who had constituted the intra-party opposition, the thought was that a homogenous structure had formed within the MHP. But, following the declaration of Erdoğan’s candidacy, talk of “Why do we not have our candidate? Why should we vote for another party’s general chair?” began to do the rounds. And this spread in the form of a silent campaign.

Half of MHP voters

Those waging the, “No vote for Erdoğan” campaign in the MHP say that Atila Kaya’s statement has elicited huge support from provincial and sub-provincial administrations. With MHP voters voting for their own party within the parliamentary election alliance, at last half are seen as not voting for Erdoğan in the presidential election. Following Atila Kaya’s call, an open campaign has begun to be waged with reference to the 24 June elections with it said, “Vote for your own party, the three crescents. There is no problem here. However, do not vote for Erdoğan, the presidential candidate not of AKP and MHP people, but of the AKP.” With the emphasis on the appeal not to vote for Erdoğan in the first round, there is no recommended preference as to voting or not voting for another candidate. The campaign may thus entail not voting for Erdoğan and, if wished, not voting at all in the presidential election. If the election makes it into a second round, however, there is talk of Erdoğan opponents in the MHP pursuing another option. If it goes to a second round with a run-off between Erdoğan and an opposition candidate, the choice of candidate may then become an issue. In this case, it is said the opposition within the MHP will urge those in the party over whom it holds sway to vote for the opposition candidate running against Erdoğan.

He spoke of a “single-man” and was singled out

A notable appeal with reference to the 24 June elections has come from MHP Istanbul MP Atila Kaya, who had announced that he would vote “no” in the constitutional amendment referendum, resigned from his post as Deputy General Chair and set himself up in opposition to General Chair Devlet Bahçeli in the process. Kaya said, “Don’t vote for the AKP and its presidential candidate Tayyip Erdoğan. This is what I will do.” Kaya made an announcement on his social media account carrying the heading, “Petition to the noble Turkish people from its deputy.” Kaya, announcing that he would no longer stand as a parliamentary candidate, said, “I invite those who see membership of the Turkish nation as being a source of exhilaration over and above being a sociological phenomenon, those who consider defending the sovereignty of the nation against the single-man regime and party state to be the basic pillar of this attachment and exhilaration, those who believe in human rights and freedoms and the supremacy of the law and those who attach importance to preserving the historic gains of the democratic-secular republic not to vote for the AK Party and its presidential candidate and to campaign for this in the knowledge that, by doing so, they will have genuinely served to perpetuate Turkishness. This is what I will do.” This solicitation by Kaya in turn invited the reaction from MHP General Secretary İsmet Büyükataman, “Kaya’s announcement veritably amounts to casting stones at the house he has left. The ruins of Troy will not suffice to destroy the place the MHP has attained in the Turkish nation’s conscience.”

HABERİN TÜRKÇESİ İÇİN: MHP'de ittifaka karşı isyan: 'Erdoğan'a oy yok' krizi!

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