Efforts on Thursday by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to forge a coalition alliance with the country’s pro-secular party failed, edging the country closer toward new elections.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu will hold a final discussion after their respective parties ended a series of “exploratory” talks over forming a coalition.
Meanwhile, Leader of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahceli issued a written statement on Monday, calling for an immediate formation of a coalition government between the AK Party and the CHP.
Most blame President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, former leader of the AKP who is still a powerful figure within the party, for the failure of talks because they say the president is opposed to the coalition from the start.
Also on Tuesday the main decision-making body of the CHP voiced support for Kilicdaroglu, giving him “a full mandate to form a coalition government in line with Turkey’s interests”.
U.S. F-16 fighter jets hit Islamic State targets in northern Syria this week in their first strikes from Turkey’s Incirlik airbase since winning approval to use the facility.
“We see no common ground for a coalition partnership”.
Davutoglu on Thursday requested to meet with Bahceli following the failed coalition talks between AK Party and the Republican People’s Party (CHP).
The lira currency weakened to a record low of 2.82 to the dollar on the news and stocks fell sharply.
Even though the country is on the road to the next ballot box, there is no guarantee that the AKP will get what it desires once an early election becomes official.
Davutoglu said the two parties were poles apart on foreign and education policies and differed on the length of the coalition.
However it is far from certain that the AKP will improve on its vote share of just under 41 percent and win an overall majority, with all parties bracing for a tough campaign.
Erdogan’s latest move is part of a deadly political chess game in which the president wants for himself the powers of a king: the Ak Saray, or White Palace, he built for himself, has 1,000 rooms and was built at a reported cost of $350 million.
Davutoglu underlined that early elections are now the only possibility, saying that his preference is for the parliament to vote for an early election.
He gave us only two options: “a short-term election government or support for an AKP minority government”, he said at CHP headquarters. Unfortunately, the AKP missed this chance and wasted time at a moment in which Turkey desperately needs strong leadership.
Prospects looked dim, however, raising expectations for new elections.