Turkish far-right leader calls on renegades to reunite

The leader of the Turkish far-right junior coalition party that supports President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in parliament called on former members in a breakaway opposition nationalist party to make peace and reunite.

Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) posted a series of tweets on Thursday saying it was time for members of the Good Party to come back to the fold.

Former MHP members disgruntled with Bahçeli’s alliance with Erdoğan split from their party in 2016 and formed the Good Party a year later under leadership of Meral Akşener.

Bahçeli’s call came after Erdoğan unexpectedly visited him at his home on Wednesday, two days before an extraordinary congress of the Good Party.

“My pure and sincere expectation from my friends working for our common cause, who are physically there (with the Good Party), but mentally with us, is to take a joint decision to take the historical responsibility of returning the Nationalist Movement Party,” Bahçeli said on Twitter.

In parliamentary and presidential elections last year and local polls in March 31, the Good Party formed an alliance with the secular main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP). In local elections, the predominantly Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) did not field candidates in major provinces and Kurdish votes played a vital role in opposition victories in Istanbul and Ankara.

Throughout the election campaign, Bahçeli called the opposition coalition “the alliance of contempt” and accused former colleagues of indirectly taking support from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), through the HDP.

“Alliance with the CHP and HDP has been carved in memories as a negligence that cannot be accepted by none of my idealist friends who has a conscience,” Bahçeli said.

The far right-leader also said that former members in Good Party had been sidelined and disappointed.

The Good Party replied to Bahçeli’s call by posting a video of Akşener laughing on its official Twitter account.