Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Pervin Buldan has said that the People's Alliance between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) is facing a major internal division, as demonstrated by the recent resignation of former Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç from the government's high advisory council and the potential expulsion of AKP co-founder Mehmet İhsan Arslan from the party.
“The statements of Mehmet İhsan Arslan, Bülent Arınç following promised reforms are indicators that the People's Alliance has started to unravel. To clear this up, the AKP will have to issue new statements,” Buldan said on Nov. 26 during an interview with Mezopotamya news agency.
Soon after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vowed to undertake economic and judicial reforms to increase investors’ confidence in the economy, Arınç, a heavyweight within the AKP, called for the release of two political prisoners, philanthropist Osman Kavala and former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş. Arınç's statements were heavily criticized by the MHP, which brought his resignation from the Presidential High Advisory Board.
As for former AKP MP Arslan, he was referred to the party's disciplinary committee after an interview he gave to the BBC's Turkish service that was critical of the government, especially the way the peace process between the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and Ankara was handled.
Buldan said that Arınç's case shows that the MHP is holding the reins to the AKP. “Devlet Bahçeli's calling Selahattin Demirtaş a 'terrorist,' within the framework of Arınç's statements, shows that a new fight has begun. Arınç resigned shortly afterwards. And this resignation is not independent of the [Presidential] Palace. Therefore, the AKP-MHP alliance will go through a conflict and unraveling but right now they are chained and bound to each other,” Buldan said.
The HDP co-chair said that under these circumstances, a reform process is not possible in the judiciary. “Following a promise of reform in economy and judiciary, Kemal Kurt case was handled and the police officer was acquitted. An operation was conducted in Diyarbakır and several people were detained. In these circumstances, reform will not be undertaken,” she said.
Buldan was referring to a court's acquittal of a police officer who was being tried over killing of Kemal Kurkut during the Newroz celebrations in 2017.