Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Chairman and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who has been charged with forming the new caretaker government within five days, has started the quest to form his cabinet with a formality phase by inviting opposition deputies to join the council of ministers.
According to the Constitution, the caretaker government should have members from all parties represented in Parliament. The seats will be distributed according to the number of seats each party has in Parliament. There will be 11 AK Party deputies as ministries. Three ministers including the Ministries of Justice, Interior and Transportation and Communications will be from independent personalities, according to law. The left-wing Republican People's Party (CHP) and the right-wing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have said they will not give members to the cabinet. However the Constitution does not say parties should "give" deputies to the cabinet as this is a two-month temporary cabinet that will act like a caretaker and will lead the country to the polls. It is not a coalition between the AK Party, the CHP and the MHP or any other party. So, the prime minister will offer cabinet posts to deputies from the parties and if they accept they will become ministers. If not their seats will be filled by independent personalities.
Hence Prime Minister Davutoğlu has sent letters to CHP, MHP and to the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputies. The HDP has said its members will take part in the Cabinet thus it is certain that the three HDP deputies – Istanbul deputy Abdullah Levent Tüzel, İzmir deputy Müslüm Doğan and Kocaeli deputy Ali Haydar Konca –who have been invited to join the Davutoğlu Cabinet will accept. All these are regarded as moderate personalities with close links to the Alevis.
As we claimed in yesterday's article the prime minister has invited Antalya CHP deputy Deniz Baykal to join his Cabinet. He apparently wants Baykal for the Foreign Ministry portfolio. Baykal is the former chairman of the CHP who has quit due to a scandal. He has been at odds with party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu for quite some time. In fact Baykal says Kılıçdaroğlu prevented his election as speaker of Parliament and also says President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wanted the establishment of a coalition government and did not want early elections. Whether Baykal accepts Davutoğlu's invitation remains to be seen.Others who received invitations from Davutoğlu in the CHP are Istanbul deputy Erdoğan Toprak, Ankara deputy Gülsün Bilgehan Toker, Istanbul deputy İlhan Kesici and Ankara deputy Tekin Bingöl.
None of these deputies are expected to accept the invitation and fall at odds with the CHP leadership thus lose their chance to be reelected in the upcoming elections. Toker is the daughter in law of former conservative finance minister Cihat Bilgehan and also the granddaughter of late President İsmet İnönü, the mentor of the CHP. Kesici is the son-in-law of Şevket Demirel, the brother of late president Süleyman Demirel who is actually a conservative but who has found his way among the left-wing ranks.
In the MHP, invitations have gone out to İzmir deputy Ahmet Kenan Tanrıkulu, Ankara deputy Tuğrul Türkeş and Istanbul deputy Meral Akşener. All are popular MHP figures. Türkeş is the son of the late monumental MHP Chairman Alpaslan Türkeş. Akşener is a former interior minister from the True Path Party contingency.
Tuğrul Türkeş's accepting the proposed ministerial seat inevitably created a huge surprise, due to his daring to demolish Bahçeli's having the last word within MHP seats. Moreover, it caused Bahçeli's game to be spoiled which has been continuing since the June 7 general elections and predictably, it is not wrong to say that very difficult days are ahead for the MHP.
So at the end of the day Davutoğlu will probably get his rejection letters and thus will then be free, according to law, to name independent personalities who do not have to be parliamentarians.
HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş seems to be full of bright ideas these days. He told the prime minister to name women in at least half of the ministry seats in the cabinet. The prime minister could well appoint all the independent cabinet ministers from the mothers of the soldiers and policemen killed by the PKK terrorists. But then how would the three ministers from the HDP look them in the face during cabinet sessions? Is Demirtaş prepared for that?