Ruling AKP looking to extend alliance, wants Islamist New Welfare by its side

AKP Parliamentary Group Deputy Chair Bülent Turan has expressed the party’s wish that the Islamist New Welfare Party be a part of the ruling People’s Alliance. “The place where New Welfare Party (chair Fatih) Erbakan should be at is not the (opposition bloc) Table of Six, but the People’s Alliance,” Turan said.

Duvar English

Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Parliamentary Group Deputy Chairman Bülent Turan has signalled that the party is looking to extend its People’s Alliance with new parties.

On a TV program on Feb. 5, Turan named Islamist HÜDA-PAR and New Welfare Party among these parties. “HÜDA-PAR or another party. They all have respectability…There are issues on which we think differently with HÜDA-PAR, but if we have an agreement with regards to common issues on Turkey’s security – and we do – then we would like to walk together. We are not the party of fights and rumbles like the (opposition bloc) Table of Six. There is a place where we stand. The place where New Welfare Party (chair Fatih) Erbakan should be at is not the Table of Six, but the People’s Alliance,” Turan said.

Turan also criticized the opposition bloc’s newly announced election manifesto, saying that the 240-page-long document does not have any reference to the modern republic’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

“There is a 240-page-long document, but the (Republican People’s Party) CHP has not made any reference to Atatürk, not a single word. Why? It is because of their thought ‘What if the HDP gets angry?’ or What if the groups they refer to as ‘Islamists’ ‘get angry?’” Turan said.

“It has been 12 months since they (the opposition bloc) have established their partnership. They have not yet agreed on their (presidential) candidate all this time.”

The CHP is one of the heavyweights of the six-party opposition bloc. The Nation Alliance announced its election manifesto “Consensus Text of Joint Policies” on Jan. 30.

Main opposition CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, center-right İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener, Islamist Felicity (Saadet) Party leader Temel Karamollaoğlu, Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) leader Ali Babacan, Future (Gelecek) Party leader Ahmet Davutoğlu, and Democrat Party leader Gültekin Uysal attended the announcement event that was held in capital Ankara. 

The manifesto included more than 2,300 pledges on 75 issues should the Nation Alliance come to power in the upcoming elections. However, it has not made any reference to the Kurdish issue, which was slammed by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).