Turkey’s main opposition leader afraid of alliance of smaller parties, columnist says

The leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu,
is afraid of an alliance of smaller parties, columnist Abdülkadir Selvi said in Hürriyet newspaper.

Selvi said that Kılıçdaroğlu was afraid of a nationalist alliance between the opposition nationalist Good Party and the Islamist Felicity Party which would leave the CHP alone in an uneasy alliance with the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP).

That is why Kılıçdaroğlu is making a move to include the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) and Future parties – both formed by rebels from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) - to take part in the opposition’s electoral Nation Alliance, Selvi said. 

“He is trying to take them under political tutelage,” he said.

Selvi did not venture any evidence or reasoning to back up this claim, except to say that something similar happened in the 1991 elections – which involved different parties and political figures in a very different situation. 

Ali Babacan, the former deputy prime minister who quit the AKP last year, founded DEVA in March. Former AKP prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu established the Future Party in December.

Kılıçdaroğlu, has offered to lend CHP lawmakers — 20 each — to Babacan and Davutoğlu’s parties so they can form parliamentary groups. 

This could help them qualify to campaign if early elections are held, as a party has to have formally established itself in at least half of all 81 Turkish provinces six months prior to an election – but can circumvent this rule by having a parliamentary group.

Kılıçdaroğlu gave similar support to the Good Party before the June 2018 parliamentary elections.