Gov't ally Bahçeli calls on opposition İYİ to form alliance together in local elections

President Erdoğan's ally, ultra-nationalist MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli has called on the opposition right-wing Good (İYİ) Party to form an alliance with his party in the 2024 local elections. İYİ Party is a MHP-breakaway party founded in 2017 and both parties have taken place in rival alliances since then.

MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli (L) and İYİ Party leader Meral Akşener (R)

Duvar English

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ally and the leader of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Devlet Bahçeli, has called on the opposition right-wing Good (İYİ) Party to form an alliance with his party in the 2024 local elections. 

MHP deputy chair İsmail Özdemir told CNN Türk television channel on Aug. 10 that the İYİ Party members refused Bahçeli’s call to return to MHP in 2019. 

“Again, (Bahçeli), paying his respects to you, conveys a new call to the İYİ Party. His message is as follows: ‘We called you (in 2019), you did not return home, let's be neighbors in the local elections for the good of the country’,” Özdemir said. 

Refusing Bahçeli's call, İYİ Party deputy chair Mehmet Tolga Akalın told online news outlet Tamga Türk that “If Mr. Devlet is calling for a third way, that is, if he wants to establish a nationalist bloc, we are already there. There is no need for us if he is selling Turkish nationalism under the leadership of a political Islamist (Erdoğan).”

Founded in 2017 by Meral Akşener, İYİ Party is a MHP-breakaway party that aims to garner nationalist and centralist opposition votes.

Since then, MHP has been the ally of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) within the People Alliance; whereas the İYİ Party is the second biggest party within the main opposition Nation Alliance, following the Republican People’s Party (CHP).

Following CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s presidential election loss against Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in May, some İYİ Party executives and deputies called for an end to the alliance with CHP.

Leaving alliance after Kılıçdaroğlu's candidacy

İYİ Party leader Meral Akşener on March 3 publicly rejected Kılıçdaroğlu's presidential candidacy despite other parties in the alliance agreeing upon him, saying his candidacy is being imposed on the İYİ Party.

One day later, Akşener said she was supporting CHP mayors Ekrem İmamoğlu and Mansur Yavaş as candidates amid polls that indicated they could perform better against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, but both mayors announced their support for the CHP leader.

She later returned to the alliance after the leaders agreed upon the vice presidencies of İmamoğlu and Yavaş.