Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy Koray Aydın announced on Aug. 22 that he has resigned from his party to join the new party led by former MHP dissident Meral Akşener. "With our new party, we are planning to cross new horizons for the Turkish nation," Aydın said during a press conference in Ankara. "We are coming to protect the founding principles of the Republic of Turkey, revive national and sentimental values, protect national solidarity and end all kinds of lawlessness and injustices."
Akşener was expelled from the MHP for her alleged close ties to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and her dissent. According to sources close Akşener, the foundation of the new political party has accelerated. Aydın served as the public works and housing minister from 1999 to 2001. He was put on trial in 2005 by the Supreme Court on corruption allegations and was later cleared of all charges in 2007.
Aydın said the current MPH leadership has left the party's founding principles behind, leading him to join Akşener and the other MHP dissidents. "I consider supporting this new struggle as a national duty. This movement will definitely come to power," Aydın said. "I want our new party to be beneficial to our nation, and Turkish and Islamic societies." Aydın said on Aug. 21 that he will also take responsibility in the party's organization, explaining that the language of the new party, which aims to be centrist, will be soft and unifying.
Meanwhile in an effort to increase her party's publicity, Akşener has been trying to persuade well-known figures to join her side. Former Chief of General Staff İlker Başbuğ, former Constitutional Court President Haşim Kılıç and former Religious Affairs Directorate head Ali Bardakoğlu have all reportedly declined Akşener's invitations to join her new party. Başbuğ declined the invitation to join on the grounds that he does not want to be a politician. Haşim Kılıç and Ali Bardakoğlu have also said that they will not join the new party.
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