Opposition MHP dissidents gearing up for new party
by Daily Sabah
ANKARAMay 12, 2017 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
May 12, 2017 12:00 am
Dissenting voices in the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) are currently weighing their options for forming a new political party, according to reports in the Turkish media.
Former deputy Parliament speaker and MHP dissident Meral Akşener, former Minister Koray Aydın, Gaziantep deputy Ümit Özdağ, Kayseri deputy Yusuf Halaçoğlu and former deputy Sinan Oğan are reported to be highly likely to proceed with preparations for forming a new political party or multiple parties in the upcoming period.
According to reports, the dissidents are waiting for the decision of the Supreme Court set for June 20 regarding the disputed MHP emergency congress last year. Since the Nov. 1 elections, dissident chairperson candidates in the party, such as Meral Akşener, Sinan Oğan, Koray Aydın and Ümit Özdağ, have been attempting to call an emergency convention to change the party's bylaws and challenge the existing party chairman, Devlet Bahçeli.
To this end, the dissidents gathered in an emergency congress on June 19, 2016. However, the emergency congress was labeled null and void by the party administration, and the dissidents took the case before the court.
There are now rumors that the dissidents may look for other options, such as forming new political parties, should the Supreme Court rule against them. Among the dissidents, Akşener has been the leading figure.
Following the April 16 referendum, Akşener visited Welfare Party (SP) Chairman Temel Karamollaoğlu and Democrat Party (DP) Chairman Gültekin Uysal in order to reflect on the referendum results and the path ahead.
Also, Akşener held an unexpected meeting with Özdağ on May 5 that lasted for more than two hours. She reportedly told Özdağ that there would be no return to the MHP and that they were at a crossroads.
According to claims, Akşener was attempting to gather her team around the Nationalist Turkey Party (MTP). The former MHP member would then reportedly enter the 2019 elections with a brand new team under the umbrella of the MTP.
However, the dissidents denied allegations that they are engaged in efforts to form a new political party. At the same time, Akşener has been accused of having close ties with the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli claimed in December 2015 that FETÖ was using one of the party's candidates as a "political tool." Akşener's lawyer, Nuri Polat, was among the 30 suspects arrested earlier in April for his alleged links to the group.
"There is a candidate who joined the MHP as a political figure from the Gülen Movement," Bahçeli was quoted as saying. Even though Bahçeli did not name this "political tool," Akşener was quick to dismiss claims that she was the "tool," adding that she would have "proudly acknowledged it if that were the case."