MHP members reportedly resign to join Akşener's party

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published

As former Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy Meral Akşener continues efforts to form a new party, some MHP members reportedly resigned from their party to join Akşener's new one, which is expected to be established in the coming months. Resignations have come from the MHP's district branches of Kocaeli Gölcük and Bursa Yenişehir. It has been reported that 410 members of the MHP's Gölcük district presidency resigned on July 31 while 215 people in Bursa's district of Yenişehir also resigned. The resigning members are said to be planning to join the new party that will be formed by Meral Akşener in the near future.

However, after the mass resignations, MHP's Gölcük district President Bilal Çakır contended in a statement that 145 of those who claimed to have resigned from the MHP are actually not members of the MHP. Çakır said that there are efforts aim to mislead the public.

Meanwhile, former MHP deputy Akşener stated that she wants her party to be at the center of politics, amid aims of gaining support from nationalists. However, the efforts of dissidents to form a new party do not seem to be attracting Turkey's nationalists, as Akşener has been accused of having close ties with the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and was formerly expelled from the MHP in a controversy which still remains as a significant issue in people's minds.

The crisis within the MHP began with the 2015 national elections, in which the party barely crossed the 10-percent threshold, losing a significant number of seats in Parliament. The dissidents voiced their discontent with the party rule and demanded a change in leadership, amid contentions that the party chairman was the reason for the failure. These debates led to the expulsion of the said party members.

Since leaving the party, dissidents have faced criticism from party supporters who considered MHP Chairman Devlet Bahçeli to be the leader of the movement which fueled the debates, causing instability within the party.

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