Turkish far-right leader denies rumors of cracks within ruling alliance

MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli has denied rumors of cracks within the ruling People's Alliance. "This alliance is the bridge between the past and the future," he said.

Duvar English 

Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has denied rumors that there are cracks within the ruling People's Alliance, following speculation caused by his very own remarks. 

Bahçeli last week said that his party is actually an opposition party despite its partnership with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), causing rumors on whether there's a rift in the alliance. 

The far-right leader on Nov. 16 dismissed the rumors, saying that the MHP shares the ruling alliance's "good deeds and sins." 

"Every step we take with the People's Alliance is a step towards a safer and more peaceful Turkey. There can be no cracks within this alliance, but the attitudes of those who seek them are far from explanation," Bahçeli told members of his party in parliament. 

"Everyone should know that even though we are not the government and there are no MHP members in the cabinet, we stand together with the AKP," he said. 

Bahçeli then went on to target columnist Taha Akyol for penning a piece on a possible rift between the far-right leader and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over Turkey's presidential system. 

"This whole piece is covered in lies and seeks to sow discord," Bahçeli said, once again praising the presidential system. 

Turkish voters said "yes" to shifting the country's governance system to an executive presidency with a controversial referendum on constitutional amendments on April 16, 2017.

The country shifted to the system officially on July 9, 2018, replacing a 95-year-old parliamentary system.

The system granted sweeping powers to Erdoğan and allowed him to be both the AKP leader and the president at the same time

50 percent plus one debate

Bahçeli on Nov. 16 also commented on a debate surrounding the election rule of 50 percent plus one, which was triggered by Presidential High Advisory Board (YİK) member Cemil Çiçek's criticism. 

"This debate is unnecessary. The fact that the president will be elected with 50 percent plus one will prevent legitimacy questions and secure democracy," Bahçeli said. 

Çiçek on Nov. 14 said that the election rule will drag Turkey into chaos and that his remarks shouldn't be interpreted as pro-opposition.