Soner Cagaptay is the Beyer Family fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute.
Articles & Testimony
Erdogan's trickiest challenge will be staving off MHP pressure on Russian and Kurdish issues while keeping the party from taking down his government.
In last Sunday’s elections, the far-right Nationalist Movement Party allied with the Justice and Development Party, helping Erdogan build a majority coalition in the Turkish legislature. More important, the MHP did not field a candidate in the presidential race; instead, party leader Devlet Bahceli asked his supporters to vote for Erdogan, who is now indebted to Bahceli and will share some power with him. Yet the AKP-MHP alliance does not bode well for the country’s stability. Without exception, all Turkish governments supported by the MHP have collapsed in grave crises, including civil war-like fighting on the streets in 1977 and 1979, and a deep economic crisis in 2001-2002...