A fresh general election in Turkey will be held on November 1, almost five months after an inconclusive election saw no party win an overall majority.
However, the AKP is unwilling to bring HDP deputies into the government due to fears of the nationalist voters’ backlash over the HDP’s alleged link to the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK).
The election board confirmed the poll would take place on 1 November.
Addressing mukhtars – locally elected village and neighborhood leaders – at the presidential palace in Ankara, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he was obliged to call an election. Mr Erdogan never showed his interest in a coalition government, but he hardly accepted his intentions of preferring to form a government alone.
In the months since the June election, Turkey has significantly increased its commitments to the anti-ISIS effort, allowing the U.S.to conduct air operations from its Incirlik military base and, with Tuesday’s announcement, joining the air campaign itself.
The June elections curbed Erdogan’s hope to expand presidential powers, and since the vote, Turkey has expanded its conflicts with Kurdish separatists and with the Islamic State.
The HDP and the Republican People’s Party (CHP) believe Erdogan is stoking this violence to scare voters who drifted away in the June elections back to the AKP.
MetroPOLL interviewed 2,520 people in 28 provinces between August 14-16 for its latest monthly survey, called “Turkey’s Pulse”, according to an e-mailed statement. HDP will have three ministries, nearly certainly not strategic, while MHP will also have three, and CHP’s seven will be eventually assigned to experts outside of parliament.
Whether the AKP can claw back a majority in November remains uncertain.
Murat Yetkin, columnist for the Radikal online daily, described the prospect of a coalition with the AKP as a “nightmare” for Erdogan who would risk losing the votes of Turkish nationalists.
Moreover, Erdogan and the AKP may not get what they want. “God willing, this country will reach stability again… and no instability will emerge”. With AKP leaders bombing multiple Kurdish groups, the HDP has become increasingly critical of the leading party’s heavy-handed approach to security in the country’s east.
Davutoglu is forming the caretaker cabinet as a constitutional obligation following the failure to form a coalition after June 7 polls and analysts have suggested the outcome is one he had wanted to avoid at all costs.
Further complicating the picture, MHP MP Tugrul Turkes, son of party’s founder Alparslan Turkes, defied the party line to accept the invitation.
Still, Mr. Erdogan said he would not delay the inevitable.