Turkish coalition politics

Osman Can writes:

While the AK party remains by far the single biggest party, it needs a coalition partner if it is to form a majority government. Turkish media outlets have reported that the idea of partnering with the CHP has been becoming increasingly popular for the AK Party leadership. It is no secret, however, that the AK Party base would rather have their party work with the MHP. At this point, it looks extremely unlikely that the AK Party will partner up with the HDP.

Although big business is pushing for a grand coalition featuring the AK Party and the CHP, which might facilitate the drafting of a new constitution, and thus fulfil one of the important policy goals of the AK party in the next Parliamentary term, CHP voters are nothing like the AK Party base. The overwhelming majority of the CHP base leads secular lives and identify as center-left voters. Traditionally, tensions between this group of secular-minded leftists and conservative AK Party supporters have been quite significant.

A partnership between the two parties, in this regard, could possibly remedy the widespread polarization and have an overall positive influence on various social groups. It is perhaps more important to acknowledge that a coalition of polar opposites might generate the necessary momentum to implement legal and constitutional reforms. Considering that the CHP leadership has revised its position on the Kurdish question, there is a good chance that the prospective coalition government could devise a peaceful solution.

A coalition government with the MHP, in turn, would hardly create similar opportunities for Turkey. The AK Party would avoid political turmoil by partnering with the MHP, but the venture might indeed fail to play a constructive role while at the same time, placing the Kurdish reconciliation process at risk.

See: http://www.dailysabah.com/columns/osman-can/2015/06/24/the-coalition-games

(Editor: so, on Can’s view, previous commentary here that the Kurdish reconciliation process might be the main casualty of the new Turkish coalition process, which would be the case if the best fit for the AKP is with the MHP, is not correct. On the other hand, if the reconciliation process with the Kurds continues and a coalition with the CHP is successful, Turkey would experience its first inclusive government, signalling a major new phase forward for the country)