Increasing tensions in CHP-MHP relationships

August 12, 2012, Sunday/ 16:05:00

Increasing its electoral support in the next elections will be the biggest test for the new Republican People's Party (CHP) administration. There is a strong conviction that if the new administration's efforts for transforming the CHP in order to increase the party's electoral support do not bear fruit, there will be unrest sparked inside the party.

To prevent this, the new party administration wants to become visible in the political, social and public spheres by developing new policies to attract the attention of new voters. First, they want to win the admiration of the masses and then they plan to secure their votes. CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who did not even mention the Kurdish issue when he was elected as party chairman, has taken the initiative to take steps that force the government to solve this bloody problem.

In the interview Kılıçdaroğlu gave to Today's Zaman published on July 30, he said the roles of the new CHP and the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) have changed in Turkish politics. He stated: “We have changed roles; now we defend freedoms. The AK Party has become a pro-status quo party. Now, we are going to all regions of Turkey.”

The new CHP administration is not hiding its disappointment of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP)'s decision not to act jointly with the new CHP.

Arguing that the MHP has always acted jointly with the AK Party in critical situations, CHP group deputy chairman Muharrem İnce added that the CHP's efforts to convene an extraordinary session in Parliament in order to discuss the terror and Syria issues have ended up in smoke because of the MHP.

He also claimed that the MHP has blocked the establishment of a parliamentary commission to work on solving the terror issue.

Another disagreement between the two parties concerns holding the 2014 municipal elections earlier than scheduled. While the CHP does not want to change the election schedule, the MHP says that the elections would be held in the fall of 2013.

CHP members claim that, thanks to the MHP's decision to support the early elections, the AK Party will secure at least a 5 percent increase in votes. The winter conditions always negatively affect vote percentage of the ruling parties in the elections.

In response to the CHP's criticisms, the MHP parliamentary group deputy chairman, Oktay Vural, said that while the MHP gives priority to the interests of Turkey, the CHP abuses such an important issue for their political ambitions.

Speaking to Today's Zaman, Vural said: "The CHP should not accuse us, but blame themselves. Their reaction is the outcome of a deep feeling of guilt. First of all, they have to explain to their voter base why they need to change the CHP and who designed the new CHP.”

If the date of the municipal elections changes, the tensions between the MHP and the CHP will escalate.

The limitations on property sales to foreigners

The law on the sale of land to foreigners that was passed by Parliament in early May eliminated the reciprocity requirement.

The new law allows foreigners to purchase property in Turkey, even if Turkish nationals do not enjoy the same right in the same foreign countries.  On the other hand, the Cabinet will determine the procedures to be followed in sales of property to foreigners whose countries allow Turkish citizens to buy property but create several legal obstacles to the Turks who want to own property in these countries.

Currently, citizens of 183 countries are allowed to purchase property in Turkey without any restrictions. The cabinet is able to set limits and bans on the law depending on the country of origin and the number, type and qualifications of foreign businesses that have property in Turkey. Syria, Armenia and North Korea are excluded from the list of the countries whose citizens are entitled to own property in Turkey.

While the Chinese and Israeli nationals are allowed to buy only one piece of real estate in Turkey, the citizens of Russia, Georgia, Greece and Bulgaria cannot own property in the coastal and border provinces. Citizens of Iran and Iraq will be able to acquire property with special permission.

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