Meet the Good Party top team
The executive of Meral Akşener’s newly formed Good Party is heavily dominated by fellow rebel defectors from the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), according to the party announcement.
With the defection of five sitting members of parliament from other parties, the Good Party now has five seats in the 550-seat assembly, but could threaten the grip of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s AK Party in local council and presidential polls in 2019.
Here is a guide to the main players in the Good Party:
Aytun Çıray, Good Party general-secretary, is a doctor and politician who was health undersecretary from 1993 to 1997 and later a prime ministerial advisor. A sitting member of parliament, he was elected three times for the left-of-centre Republican People’s Party (CHP). He resigned to join the Good Party. He tweets at @AytunCiray.
Hayrettin Nuhoğlu, Good Party treasurer, comes from a Grey Wolf background and was formerly on the MHP Central Committee. He is the president of the Turkish Cuisine Culture Research, Development and Support Committee and the Coordinator of the Turkish Thought Movement. He tweets at @H_Nuhoglu.
Koray Aydın, Good Party deputy president for branch affairs, has served as deputy speaker of parliament, public works and housing minister, and general-secretary of the MHP. He tweets at @korayaydintr.
Durmuş Yılmaz, Good Party deputy president for the economy, was the governor of the Turkish Central Bank between 2006 and 2011. In June 2015, he became an MHP member of parliament, but resigned from the party to join Akşener’s new group.
Ümit Özdağ, Good Party deputy president for media and propaganda, is a retired professor of political science who was deputy leader of the MHP from 2015 to 2016. He founded the Eurasian Strategic Research Centre (ASAM) and the Armenian Research Institute and is currently the president of the 21st Century Turkey Institute. He tweets at @umitozdag.
Vedat Taylan Yıldız, Good Party deputy president for information technology, holds a PhD in quantitative marketing from Stanford University in the United States and worked for Google in marketing for more than a decade before returning to Turkey to join the Good Party. He tweets at @taylanyildiz and composes and performs his own songs on his YouTube channel.
Ahmet Ersagun Yücel, Good Party deputy president for social policy, was the general secretary of TAV Airports Holding Limited, which operates 17 airports worldwide including Ankara Airport and Istanbul Atatürk Airport, before resigning in August to join the Good Party.
Ayfer Yılmaz, Good Party deputy president for international relations, held a series of senior posts in the Turkish Treasury and international financial institutions before becoming a member of parliament for the True Path Party (DYP) and, in 1996, minister of state. She has since pursued an academic career.
Dursun Müsavat Dervişoğlu, Good Party deputy president for local administrations, is a former Grey Wolves president and MHP Izmir chairman. He tweets at @musavat1960.
Mustafa Erdem, Good Party deputy president for legal and electoral affairs, worked at the state Religious Affairs Directorate and state broadcaster TRT before being appointed a professor of theology at Ankara University. He helped establish the theology department of the University of Osh in Kyrgyzstan and was elected a MHP member of parliament in the 2015 elections.
Şenol Bal, Good Party deputy president for parliamentary and political affairs, holds a doctorate in cytogenetics and is the president of the women of the Turkic World’s Friendship and Solidarity Society and the Balkan Turkish Women’s Union. She was a MHP member of parliament between 2007 and 2011. She tweets at @balsenol.
Şule Ünlü Doğan, Good Party deputy president for education, culture and art policy, is a property lawyer in Ankara. She Instagrams at @suleunludogan.