Turkey’s current ruling party, the AKP, failed in recent coalition talks with the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the second place finishers in this year’s election, and over the weekend efforts to convince the third-place Nationalist Movement (MHP) also failed, moving the country closer to giving up on a government and holding another round of elections.
The AKP was just short of a majority in parliament, and tried to either bring the CHP or MHP on board for a coalition, or to convince the MHP to let them rule as a minority government without objection by not opposing it. That too failed, and where the country is even headed now is unclear.
The MHP had sought a number of concessions to get on board, including the resumption of war with the PKK, which in fact happened in recent weeks, but also demanded an ethno-centric citizenship definition to eliminate “ethnic polarization,” and also moves to fight graft, which were deemed unacceptable by the AKP.
Both the AKP and MHP are fiercely hostile to Turkey’s Kurdish minority, and the AKP was betting that the MHP would let them govern just to assure that the Kurds were cut out of the process. Even the path to an election isn’t clear, as the MHP is threatening to oppose efforts to form an interim “election government” to prepare for another vote.
The deadline for forming a government is Sunday, and the CHP is calling on the AKP to give them the mandate to try to form a government now that it is clear they won’t be able to. The CHP would have no path to a government either, since a majority would require either the AKP to accept being the “junior partner” to a smaller party, or require the CHP to unite the overtly racist MHP with the pro-minority HDP, a total impossibility.