Turkish PM signals opening way for election alliances

Turkey’s government is considering altering regulations to allow formal electoral alliances, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said, a move that could help the ruling party’s allies in elections to be held in 2019 at the latest.

“We can make changes here,” Hürriyet newspaper quoted Yıldırım as telling reporters travelling with him on a plane from South Korea to China.

“Each party must be able to make alliance by preserving their identity,” he said.

The news will come as a boost for the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which has made an informal alliance with the government but fears losing its place in parliament after the next elections due to declining popularity.

“For this, we need to make legal regulations,” Yıldırım said. “This is a subject on our agenda.”

The prime minister also compared U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem to the decision of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq to hold an independence referendum in September.

“The whole world was against it but they still went ahead with the referendum and we all saw what happened in the end,” Yıldırım said. 

“Jerusalem is holy for all three religions. Playing with its status can create a result similar to throwing a bomb.”