Erdogan urges Turkey to choose ‘stability’ in November polls

Ankara: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan today urged Turkey to vote for “stability” in November 1 polls, as three pro-Kurdish MPs were invited into a caretaker government in an unprecedented move.

If the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MPs accept, it will be the first time in Turkish history that representatives of a pro-Kurdish party have taken seats in the government.

The repeat elections come after the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) co-founded by Erdogan failed to win an overall majority in a June vote and subsequent talks to form a coalition government broke down.

The hugely intricate formation of a caretaker government to take Turkey to the polls is unprecedented in the country’s political history — never before have post-poll coalition talks ended without results.

“I believe that November 1 will be an election of stability or instability. God willing, this country will reach stability again,” Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara.

The comments were seen a clear message to voters to vote for the AKP and return its overall majority, thus avoiding the notorious instability that had dogged Turkish politics before the party came to power in 2002.

Erdogan voiced hope that “the problems created by the June 7 election results will be solved on November 1”.

“What’s essential is the will of people. Our people will have its word once again on November 1,” said Erdogan.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is now seeking to form a caretaker cabinet as a constitutional obligation following the failure to form a coalition. Analysts have suggested the outcome is one he had wanted to avoid at all costs.

According to the constitution, such an interim government must be formed with ministries shared among Turkey’s parties according to their share of the seats in parliament.

The ruling AKP will have 11 ministries, the second biggest party the Republican People’s Party (CHP) five and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the HDP three apiece.

The cabinet will rule up until the polls, where the AKP hopes to regain its overall majority.

Analysts have said the invitation for the HDP is hugely awkward for Davutoglu as Turkey forces an offensive against Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) rebels.

“This is a worst-case scenario for Davutoglu and the AKP,” wrote Murat Yetkin, editor-in-chief of Hurriyet Daily News.

Davutoglu and Erdogan have accused the HDP of being the political front for the PKK, which is outlawed by Turkey and its Western allies as a terror group.