On Sunday, the Republican's People Party (CHP) announced the transfer of 15 deputies to the recently established Good Party (İP) for the forthcoming snap elections on June 24, sparking a new debate across the country with resemblance to the 1977 Güneş Motel incident, where a dozen deputies were transferred from a coalition government to dismantle the government.
The İP obtained the right to participate in the June 24 presidential and parliamentary general elections after 15 CHP deputies resigned and joined the far-right party. In line with the Political Parties Act, which states that "the parties need to have a group in Parliament to be able to participate in the elections," the strategy of the CHP and the İP led to heated debates.
Regarding the issue, some officials criticized the transfer act as the remake of the Güneş Motel incident. The motel incident happened in 1977 when the CHP ran the government under the chairmanship of Bülent Ecevit. Following the failure of the 40th government to receive a vote of confidence, three parties – the Justice Party (AP), National Salvation Party (MSP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) – formed a coalition and called their government the Second Nationalist Front.
Ecevit secretly met with 12 deputies who had resigned from the AP to sway them into joining the CHP to become the majority government in the 1977 general elections. Negotiations with the former AP deputies were done at the Güneş Motel in Istanbul and allowed Ecevit to form the 42nd government, which was widely referred to as the "Motel Government."
Calling the action "secret and dirty alliance," MHP Group Deputy Chairman Erkan Akçay said: "The resignation of 15 deputies from the CHP is a new version of the Güneş Motel incident."
Justice and Development Party (AK Party) spokesperson Mahir Ünal has also levied c
riticism at the actions of the CHP, saying that the CHP has ignored the choice of the electorate in the Nov. 1 general elections and rejected the will of the nation that elected 15 democrats in the name of so-called democracy.
"Apparently, he thinks his parliamentarians are an apparatus that is called and sent. He confuses his situation with the situation of his deputies. Kılıçdaroğlu [the CHP chairman], who spoke of the principle alliance, has signed a political dishonesty," he said.
Additionally, government spokesperson Bekir Bozdağ slammed the CHP for being a fraud and not being honest with the voters as well as the whole Turkish nation. He said that "this unnamed alliance" is not an alliance of principles, but an alliance of those who have no principle.
"This attitude of the CHP's administration, out of morality and honesty, is a deception, a cheat. This alliance is not a transparent, honest, moral and legitimate alliance […] If the CHP and known allies think they will deceive the sainted Turkish nation with fraudulent, immoral, dishonest and unprincipled methods by these dirty and dark bargains, they are deceived," he said.
MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli has also criticized the transfer of 15 CHP deputies to the İP, saying that the CHP is acting the exact opposite of what they said about the principles and honest elections. "The ones who sermonize on democracy, who talk about principled alliance, have enthusiasm for political games, are a complete chatter and political decay," he said.
Additionally, after the CHP has decided to transfer 15 deputies to the İP, intra-party criticisms were also made.
CHP Istanbul Deputy İlhan Cihaner, a former renowned public prosecutor and currently one of the leading figures of the left-wing intra party opposition, tweeted Sunday asking 20 deputies allocated for other minor left wing parties, namely the Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP), the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) and the Democratic Left Party (DSP) to allow them to participate in the elections.
Parliament on Friday ratified the bill on holding early parliamentary and presidential elections on June 24, with 386 votes in favor. Following the approval in Parliament, the Supreme Election Board (YSK) is expected to prepare the electoral schedule. The YSK on Sunday approved the İP's participation in the presidential and parliamentary elections.