Ruling AKP and far-right ally fail to form alliance for Turkey’s local elections

After protracted negotiations, the delegations of the ruling AKP and its far-right ally YRP failed to establish an alliance for Turkey’s upcoming local elections. YRP announced that they would field their candidates in Istanbul and İzmir.

New Welfare Party (YRP) chair Erbakan (L) and AKP chair Erdoğan (R) shake hands in front of the YRP building during 2023 elections.

Duvar English

In the negotiations between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its far-right ally New Welfare Party (YRP) for a collaboration in Turkey’s upcoming local elections on March 31, the last meeting on Jan. 22 did not yield a positive result as well.

The YRP had demanded AKP’s support of its candidates in some district mayorships in return for supporting AKP in three metropolitan cities. However, the AKP once again rejected the demands of the far-right Islamist party which it formed an alliance with during the 2023 elections.

AKP chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and YRP chair Fatih Erbakan are expected to meet for the last time this week.

YRP Deputy Chair Mehmet Altunöz on Jan. 23 stated, "There is nothing left for the AKP to offer. We will field our candidate for Istanbul and İzmir mayorships,” according to the daily Sözcü.

Altunöz stated that the AKP has already announced their candidacy from every district and merely offered them municipal council membership in Istanbul, Ankara, and İzmir.

Most polls has estimated that the YRP candidate for Istanbul would receive 2.5 percent of the vote. In general elections, it garnered 3.25 percent of the votes in Istanbul and 0.89 percent in İzmir.

While talks with the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the AKP's biggest partner, for a cooperation for the local elections concluded positively, talks with other People's Alliance parties have been continuing.