Meral Aksener re-elected to lead IYIP, severs ties to Nation Alliance

Meral Aksener on June 24 was re-elected as the Good (İYİ) Party chair during her party’s convention in which she ran as the sole candidate. She made a very aggressive speech attacking the party cadres and other opposition figures who criticized İYİP for the defeat in the presidential elections. She hinted IYIP is parting ways with CHP-lead Nation Alliance, throwing the opposition into further disarray.  CHP Istanbul mayor Ekrem Imamoglu and  party chairman Kilicdaroglu congratulated her on her victory, but insiders claim she is not coming back this time.


In  the convention of  İYİP on June 24, Meral Aksener emerged victorious as she secured her re-election as the party’s chair. Notably, she stood as the sole candidate in the convention, solidifying her position within the party’s leadership after she received 1127 votes out of the 1151 delegates. In addition, the party’s executive board  was also extensively renewed in the direction of her allies.

IYIP  broke away from the tradition observed by other political parties in Turkey by abstaining from extending invitations to other parties for their congress.

Aksener made a very aggressive speech during the convention,  which started by criticizing her own  rank-and-file. She stated that she cannot stand the “nastiness” of her detractors to bring her down, promising swift retaliation from now on.


Aksener also stated that she will do “what is necessary” for those who have been harming the party with their statements. She stated that the convention was a time of reckoning and that just as she would be held to account, she would also hold the party cadres to account.


Aksener began her parting of ways with CHP and Nation Alliance by recounting the period when her party  entered the parliamentary elections by borrowing 15 deputies from the main opposition CHP as “the biggest regret” of her life. She added that CHP constantly demanded pay-back, holding IYIP hostage.  To recall, in 2018, 15 deputies from the CHP joined the İYİP in order to allow the latter to form a parliamentary caucus and thus remove the obstacle to its participation in the general elections.

Drawing attention to the “contributions” of her party in the 2019 Istanbul local elections, Aksener also expressed her discomfort with the statements that Imamoglu won thanks to the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the pro-Kurdish Rights Party, which IYIP detests as a front for PKK.


Commenting on the loss of the presidential election, Aksener said, “I have not spoken for a month. Some opposition opinion leaders and political elites first attacked Mr. (Kemal) Kilicdaroglu. Then they lost the thread and began to attack İYİP and me for the defeat in the presidential elections.” She added that her party actively helped Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s presidential campaign, yet their efforts have been ignored.


She further noted that these critics were employing a similar rhetoric as those who expressed gratitude to the HDP for their victory in the Istanbul elections and added “I wish good luck to them in their lives”, which insiders claim is her final words on the future of the Nation Alliance.  Former IYIP founder and currently chairman of anti-immigration Victory Party, Umit Ozdag claims she always viewed Nation Alliance as a tactical choice and will now walk her separate path.  CHP was careful not to respond to her accusations.


After the end of the elections, the İYİP’s relationship with other opposition parties has been deteriorated. Some top figures from the party stated that they parted ways from the main-opposition Nation Alliance.


İYİP  received 9.69 percent of the votes in the May 14 parliamentary elections (despite expectations of a higher rate) and won 43 seats in the parliament.


English version by Can Bodrumlu. From Duvar English, with added commentary from PA Turkey staff.


Published By: Atilla Yeşilada

GlobalSource Partners’ Turkey Country Analyst Atilla Yesilada is the country’s leading political analyst and commentator. He is known throughout the finance and political science world for his thorough and outspoken coverage of Turkey’s political and financial developments. In addition to his extensive writing schedule, he is often called upon to provide his political expertise on major radio and television channels. Based in Istanbul, Atilla is co-founder of the information platform Istanbul Analytics and is one of GlobalSource’s local partners in Turkey. In addition to his consulting work and speaking engagements throughout the US, Europe and the Middle East, he writes regular columns for Turkey’s leading financial websites VATAN and and has contributed to the financial daily Referans and the liberal daily Radikal.