Turkish nationalist leader says standing by ruling AK Party

Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has promised to stand by the government in order to ensure that constitutional changes giving the president executive powers are not rolled back.

“Our party will work with the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in order to establish the presidential system of government by the end of 2019,” he said at the weekly meeting of his parliamentary party.

“We will stand in the same ranks, in the same place. This is a promise of the Nationalist Movement Party.”

The other three parliamentary opposition parties in Turkey have all said they would cancel the presidential system of government if they were brought to power in 2019.

Flagging in the polls, the MHP faces the possibility of being wiped out of parliament unless either the 10-percent vote threshold is lowered, or it forms an electoral alliance with the AK Party.

Bahçeli appeared to be troubled by more universal questions.

“What did Saudi Arabia want to achieve by being the first in the world to give a robot citizenship?” he asked.