Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli said that the People's Alliance has firm ground and is resilient against external attempts to create divisions among them, rejecting recent claims of disputes between his party and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).
Speaking in the northwestern Bursa province, Bahçeli said the alliance was one of the most strategic and correct decisions in Turkish political history.
The idea of forming a political alliance between the AK Party and MHP for the presidential elections emerged after Bahçeli announced that his party would not name a candidate for the presidential elections and would support the re-election of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The right-wing Great Union Party (BBP) also announced that it would join the AK Party's and MHP's center-right election bloc the People's Alliance, and support Erdoğan as their joint candidate.
President Erdoğan on Friday also rejected dispute claims among the People's Alliance, saying that it was working well and functioning properly.
Bahçeli said that their alliance was based on the grounds of the founding philosophy of the Turkish Republic.
He also criticized presidential candidate Muharrem İnce over the recent "epaulet" row. İnce had criticized Second Army Commander Lt. Gen. İsmail Metin Temel after Temel had praised Erdoğan and criticized İnce at a meeting. The CHP's presidential candidate in response had said that Temel's praise was contradictory to his objectivity as an officer, and had vowed to force Temel to retire on August 30 if he (İnce) won the election.
"He [İnce] said that he will remove epaulets of an honorable Turkish officer. A person who gives hope to the PKK cannot be a president of Turkey," Bahçeli said.
Turkish voters narrowly endorsed an executive presidency in the April 16 referendum with 51.4 percent of the votes in favor of it. The "yes" campaign was backed by the AK Party and the MHP while the CHP had campaigned for a "no" vote.
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