The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) are preparing to improve their cooperation in 30 municipalities for the March 31 local elections.
To avoid any step that would undermine the People's Alliance during the election period, the AK Party and MHP officials will be in close contact and take coordinated steps in municipalities where the two parties will support each other.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the AK Party's leader, and MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli have repeatedly called on for upholding the People's Alliance, which was initially formed for the June 24 presidential elections. They have stressed that the alliance's main aim is to uphold national security in the face of internal and foreign threats and therefore the party members must avoid steps that would be disrespectful for the alliance.
In the local elections, the MHP will not nominate candidates in three major metropolitan municipalities - Ankara, Istanbul and İzmir - and instead support the AK Party candidates. As part of the alliance, the members of the two parties will attend each other's meetings. The party leaders are also expected to hold a joint meeting at Istanbul's Yenikapı.
Earlier, the two parties stepped in to prevent some negative results of a recent feud between the party branches in northern Turkey's Samsun. The feud eventually got the AK Party and the MHP provincial heads suspended. Following the incident, AK Party spokesperson Ömer Çelik announced last week that Hakan Karaduman, Samsun provincial head of the AK Party, was suspended from his duty due to his remarks, which conflicted with the principles of the People's Alliance.
In a similar move, the MHP also dismissed its Samsun provincial head, Taner Tekin, and referred Erhan Usta, the MHP Samsun deputy, to the disciplinary board for their actions that violate the alliance principles.
The AK Party also reminded its party organizations the decision to not hang party flags, placards and posters except at election coordination centers and party organization buildings. Complaints will be filed to the Supreme Election Board against those who do not abide by the decision.
During the election periods, it has almost become a tradition for political parties to decorate streets with party flags and play campaign songs from minivans, which causes a great deal of visual and noise pollution.
In accordance to an increasing demand to end the chaotic atmosphere during the election period, President Erdoğan advised the AK Party in early December to prevent any kind of pollution. The AK Party will only be allowed to display flags at party organizations and election coordination centers. The AK Party also stopped using election buses, except for specific times set beforehand.