What are similarities of Turkish political parties?

What are similarities of Turkish political parties?

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 11

By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

Turkey has about 90 political parties with a population of 82.3 million people. Only 32 of those parties are entitled to participate in parliamentary and municipal elections in the country.

Presently, six political parties are represented in the Turkish parliament, namely, the Justice and Development Party (AKP), the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), IYI Party, as well as Saadet Party (SP).

Despite that the political parties represented in the Turkish parliament have great ideological differences, there is one little, but important similarity between them. To understand the similarities between these parties, it is necessary to consider the activity and personality of their leaders separately.

First of all, we must start from the Justice and Development Party. This party was founded on August 14, 2001. In fact, the party conducted a lot of reforms in Turkey’s political and economic life.

The new Constitution and the transition of Turkey to a presidential form of government is also a merit of the party. Since July 20, 2017, 39-year-old Fatih Sahin has been serving as secretary general of the party, but his name is rarely mentioned in Turkey’s political life. The leader of the party is 65-year-old incumbent Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Republican People’s Party is one of the oldest parties in Turkey, which was established on September 9, 1923 by founder of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Despite this party is the main opposition party in Turkey, it has lost its positions in comparison with new and dynamic Justice and Development Party.

Since May 22, 2010, 71-year-old Kemal Kilicdaroglu has been serving as the leader of the party. He has repeatedly stated that if his party does not win the parliamentary election, he will leave the post, but this has not happened yet.

The Nationalist Movement Party is a party that is popular in the Turkic world. It was created in 1969 by Alparslan Turkes. The party was revived in 1993 for the second time. Since that time up until now, the leader of the party is 71-year-old Devlet Bahceli. The party split three times. The recent split of the party led to the creation of a new political party, IYI Party, headed by Meral Aksener.

IYI Party, which was previously excluded from the Nationalist Movement Party, was established on October 25, 2017. The leader of the party is 63-year-old Meral Aksener. Although IYI Party at the initial stage declared adherence to the nationalist ideas, a political union in the presidential and municipal elections with the Republican People’s Party led to discontent within the party.

As for Saadet Party, which was established on July 20, 2001, this party does not play a big political role in Turkey now. The leader of the party is 78-year-old Temel Karamollaoglu. The union between Saadet Party and Republican People’s Party, which has an Islamic orientation, weakens its positions in Turkey.

If we carefully examine these facts, we can see that there are no young people among the Turkish political leaders.

This fact may sooner or later lead to a number of problems in Turkey’s future political life. But despite this, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is currently considered the most influential political leader in Turkey.

---

Rufiz Hafizoglu, deputy editor-in-chief of Trend

Follow him on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

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