The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the two members of the People's Alliance, will hold joint meetings ahead of the March 31 local elections.
AK Party sources said that although the timing or the exact locations are yet to be decided, the meetings would follow the example of an MHP candidate unveiling event in Adana that was attended by AK Party spokesperson Mahir Ünal and deputy chair Julide Sarıeroğlu. Political unity between the two parties will be the main focus of these meetings, often expressed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as "from the cradle to the grave." The meetings will emphasis on "the alliance in the hearts of the people."
The venues for the meetings would be decorated with Turkish flags, instead of party flags and placards, and slogans. The two party leaders have also started to organize their own meeting schedule. The AK Party's first gathering is planned to be held in central Sivas province tomorrow. In order to discuss the election campaigns, Erdoğan and Devlet Bahçeli had a meeting yesterday in Presidential Complex in Ankara. The two leaders discussed the steps within the framework of the People's Alliance and election of a new parliamentary speaker. Earlier in January, Turkish Parliament speaker and the AK Party candidate for Istanbul mayor's office, Binali Yıldırım said he will resign from the post after filing the official nomination papers. The People's Alliance between the MHP and the AK Party was formed ahead of the June 24 parliamentary and presidential elections last year. The alliance received a majority in Parliament, while its presidential candidate, Erdoğan, won the election by 52.6 percent of the votes. As both parties consider the results of the June 24 elections successful, they now seek to continue their alliance in the local elections. Meanwhile, a recent poll conducted by Gezici research center revealed that People's Alliance candidates are leading in five of seven metropolitan municipalities, including Istanbul, Ankara, Aydın and Adana. Republican People's Party (CHP) candidate in northwestern Bursa province lead the polls, while the current mayor of southern Mersin province from the Good Party (İP), Burhanettin Kocamaz, was also found likely to be reelected in the March 31 elections.