The introduction of Meral Akşener's new party was expected with much anticipation on the grounds that Akşener claimed her party would represent all Turkish citizens. Akşener inaugurated the İYİ Party (Good Party) last week with figures from both the right and left.
Even though Akşener's party has been talked of for a long period of time, Turkish citizens seem puzzled regarding the party's political point of view and program. Questions are still circling in as to whether the Good Party has a clear policy to pursue, irrespective of their decision to vote for her.
Having been working for 30 years in Ankara's Balgat district, Ümit Soytürk, a 50-year-old hair dresser, said Akşener's policies are not clear. "It has a complicated structure, including people from both the right and left," he said. He added that he does not believe in a party that is formed with participants with different political views. "I don't know whether she has policies or not," he said.
While having his hair cut, Hasan Yılmaz, a retired public officer, said he believes that "they are just showing off without putting anything serious forward." The 57-year-old said they have been long trying to stay on Turkey's agenda by commenting on other parties, stressing: "I will not vote for them because I don't believe that they will work or do anything concrete."
Emre, a local shop owner who wanted his surname to remain anonymous, mentioned that he only knows of rumors going on about the Good Party, saying: "I was told that Akşener's policies are similar to those of the Justice and Development Party [AK Party]." The 32-year-old added that he knows nothing except rumors, saying he has not decided which party to vote for yet.
In line with these comment, Good Party spokesman Aytun Çıray, who resigned from the Republican People's Party (CHP) to join the recently formed Good Party, declined to give information regarding the party program in response to a question about what the party program of the Good Party will be in an interview with the HaberTurk daily published on Oct. 30
Earlier in this week, an Optimar Research Company found that if an election were held today, the Good Party would not able to pass the 10 percent election threshold, as it would obtain 6.4 percent of the vote. The survey also showed that 11.8 percent of those who were interviewed believe that Akşener's new party has affiliations with the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ). The survey found that 70.7 percent of those interviewed know that Akşener formed a party and 85.5 percent said they know the name of the party, but would not vote for it.
Ali Bahadır, a forest engineer, is among those who has little information about the party's agenda. "I have no knowledge of the political line of the Good Party," he said, adding that he might consider voting for it if it follows national policies. "They should avoid imperialist policies," Bahadır said. "If Turkey will depend on the U.S., NATO and affiliated organizations, I will definitely not vote for it," Bahadır said.
Kaan Yılmaz, a computer engineer, has a different take on the party and Akşener. According to him, Akşener is affiliated with FETÖ. He said he will not vote for the Good Party as he has suspicions regarding Akşener's past. "When I look at her past, I understand that I shouldn't vote for the party," Kaan said.
Merve Türkarslan, a communication expert, agreed with Kaan on the FETÖ allegations. "I think that Akşener has affiliations with FETÖ, I won't vote for such a person." The 24-year-old also claimed that the logo of the party is "fake," referring to the same logo used by Menderes Türel, the mayor of Antalya, nominated by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).
The party's slogan is, "Turkey will be better." Turkish media outlets reported that a similar slogan and logo was previously used by Türel, the mayor of the southern province ofAntalya, in its election campaign in 2014 on the grounds that Türel used "Antalya will be better" as a slogan and a sun logo with rays over a blue background. When written in capital letters, the Good Party's name also resembles the symbol of the Kayı tribe of the Oghuz Turkic people – one bow and two arrows (IYI) –which the Ottoman Empire's founder Osman I descended from. On Oct. 30, Bilecik Mayor Selim Yağcı said the Bilecik municipality will sue Akşener for copying their logo, which is the symbol as the Kayı tribe.
Waiting in line in front of a bank, Hasan Avcıoğlu said he does not like the party logo, questioning what "the sun symbolizes." He also drew attention to political stability, adding that he does not believe that the Good Party has a reliable cadre to be voted for. "I think that Akşener and her colleagues have a shady past, I am content with the current political stability," Avcıoğlu said.
In contrast to Optimar's findings, the Gezici polling firm yesterday issued survey results showing that the Good Party would get 19.5 percent of vote if an election were held today. The survey suggested that Akşener's party can mark a dramatic shift in Turkish politics as it could restrike a balance between parties. Some people said despite not knowing the Good Party platform, they would definitely vote for her.
Çetin Kartepe, an accountant in the health sector, is among people who think that the Good Party would carry Turkey to a better future. The 44-year-old said he wants to vote for the Good Party, adding that he believes it can make progress on improving the education system in Turkey. "Even though I don't know their party program, I will vote for them as [MHP dissidents] Koray Aydın and Ümit Özdağ are in the party," Kartepe said.
Mentioning women's participation in politics, Mehmet Ali, a freelancer, approached the issue with a different perspective, saying that despite not knowing the Goof Party line, he will vote for Akşener because she is a woman. "I believe there should be a woman in politics, so I will vote for them despite not knowing the party line."
Betül Aydın, a secretary assistant in a law bureau, said she will vote for Akşener. "I believe that a woman representing Turkey would be fine," she said. Aydın added that she has been voting for the Republican People's Party (CHP) for a long time, but she decided to vote for Akşener. "Turkish politics needs a change," she said.
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