Top Felicity Party official launches bid to oust chairman Karamollaoğlu

In a series of tweets on June 15, Oğuzhan Asiltürk, a top official of the Islamist Felicity Party, criticized the party management, calling for a congress to oust leader Temel Karamollaoğlu. Citing sources, journalist Murat Sabuncu said that Asiltürk was trying to get closer to the ruling AKP to “revive" the Islamist-Nationalist National Vision movement of Necmettin Erbakan, the founding father of political Islam.

President Recep Erdoğan (R) had hosted Felicity Party official Oğuzhan Asiltürk at an iftar dinner at the Presidential Palace in April.

Duvar English 

Oğuzhan Asiltürk, the chairman of the Felicity Party High Advisory Board, on June 15 sent a series of tweets criticizing the party management and said that the party will soon hold a congress.

Asiltürk is known to oppose Felicity Party leader Temel Karamollaoğlu's cooperation with the Nation Alliance, which compromises the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and nationalist İYİ (Good) Party.

He is instead said to be favoring a partnership with People's Alliance led by the ruling Justice Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

In January, Asiltürk even hosted President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at his home, whereas in April he had an iftar dinner with the president at the Presidential Palace.

In a veiled reference to the AKP, Asiltürk said on June 15 that the Felicity Party desires “good relations with brothers.” “We desire good relations with brothers because we believe that believers are brothers,” he wrote in one of his 53 tweets.

He also reacted against Karamollaoğlu's criticism of the AKP, arguing that such criticism resulted in a loss of support for the Felicity Party.

“After our mentor [Necmettin] Erbakan [the long-time leader of Turkey's Islamic political movement], our brothers carrying out a duty at the Felicity Party have confined themselves to only criticizing the rulership. When this was the case, the support for the Felicity Party decreased,” he tweeted, arguing that the youth do not vote for the Felicity Party for “not defending their beliefs.”

Asiltürk also said a congress is on its way with an agenda to change the administration.

“Hopefully, with the decisions that we will take in the upcoming congress, our Felicity Party will come to a point defending its values at the core of its foundation,” he tweeted.

Journalist Murat Sabuncu from T24 said that the Felicity Party administration was “shocked at” Asiltürk's tweets, as they did not see such a move coming.

Citing sources, Sabuncu said that Asiltürk was trying to get closer to the AKP to “revive the National Vision Movement” (“Milli Görüş Hareketi” in Turkish) created by Erbakan.

Sources reportedly emphasized Asiltürk's desire for a partnership with just the AKP, exluding the MHP.

The extent of Asiltürk's influence in the party is disputable but he has enough support to take the party to a congress, sources also told Sabuncu.