The secular stratum of society's chance to comprehend the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has diminished to a considerable degree since it started to embrace an anti- President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan campaign. The government, which is unable to lend an ear to the concerns and wishes of the secular stratum of society for a while, also has a role in this. But ultimately, the opposition to the AK Party completely turned into opposition to Erdoğan, and this created the dream that there was a consistent opponent bloc facing the AK Party on the eve of the June 7 general elections. However, there is nothing in common between the Republican People's Party (CHP), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) apart from their anti-Erdoğanism and some stereotypic and populist promises. Consequently, expectations for a coalition that excludes the AK Party have corresponded to quite an apolitical sentiment since the very beginning.
The MHP did not only declare that it would not be part of the ruling power at the beginning, it also turned this stance into a consistent strategy. The attitude of the party during the Parliament speaker elections is the outcome of this strategy. MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli, who observed that CHP members tried to impose a moral coercion on the MHP, made MHP members give invalid votes, which prevented such coercion. If the CHP candidate, Deniz Baykal, had been elected, both the MHP and HDP would have indirectly met on common ground. Plus, supporting Baykal would have had some costs regarding the party base and the CHP would have strengthened its hand in the coalition bargains. However, when looked at as a historic framework, there has been a vote shift from the MHP to the AK Party, which is hard to prevent as long as the reconciliation process is not blocked. On the other hand, the MHP received some votes from the CHP's base, as the CHP adopts inconsistent and weak policy. In brief, the MHP's real rival is the CHP. And Bahçeli's goal is to become the main opposition by getting ahead of the CHP. If an AK Party-CHP coalition is built, it is estimated that the MHP will be the main opposition and this might also introduce an increase in its vote share.
CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu built a quite amateurish post-election strategy. Following the dream of becoming prime minister by forming a bloc against the AK Party, he came to the point of offering the prime ministry to Bahçeli, who refused, of course. Meanwhile, he maintained his discourse targeting Erdoğan. By claiming that Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu suffers from being controlled by Erdoğan, he asserted that this tutelage should be ended for a coalition. He also declared a 14-article "election manifesto", which he laid down as a precondition for coalition. But this approach has brought two natural consequences. First, he raised difficulties for the possibility of forming an AK Party-CHP coalition with an endeavor to determine a possible coalition protocol and a disdain for the addressing ability of the prime minister, and second, due to his attacks centering on Erdoğan, he caused the AK Party administration and base, particularly Davutoğlu, to embrace and protect Erdoğan even more.
As a result, it is observed that the prime minister and president have gotten much closer and the AK Party's votes are reconsolidated thanks to Kılıçdaroğlu. However, Kılıçdaroğlu's aim was to build a coalition with the AK Party that would be dissolved from within. Today, we have a reverse situation. The AK Party is comfortable since it will probably get better results in the case of possible early elections, but it also wants to demonstrate that it would not avoid a coalition. The only coalition alternative is an AK Party-CHP partnership, so the government could be formed if the CHP wants.
For a party that remained in the opposition for years and even could not achieve an increase in its vote share despite being the main opposition, even at the time when the AK Party lost some votes, the only option it could prove to itself is to collaborate for a government. And when it is considered that the party has an upcoming congress in December and the chairmanship is increasingly becoming more questionable, it can be said that the circle around Kılıçdaroğlu has tightened to a great extent. He desperately needs this coalition and he has a partner that has nothing to lose. If he keeps the bar high and a coalition is not formed because of it, he would be the one responsible for the failure. The decision is up to Kılıçdaroğlu. If he can manage to administrate his own party, an AK Party-CHP coalition can be built. Otherwise, early elections will be inevitable.