Turkey: Nationalist socialist politician fails to qualify for presidential race

Turkey: Nationalist socialist politician fails to qualify for presidential race
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Patriotic Party leader Dogu Perincek could collect 27,000 signatures, way behind the 100,000 signature threshold required to qualify for the presidential race.

Following the nomination of two presidential candidates by the ruling and opposition blocs in Turkey, two more were qualified to run in the presidential race after they managed to pass the 100,000 signature mark.

Sinan Ogan, an ultra-nationalist politician and a former member of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), will compete on 14 May as the candidate of the Ata (Ancestral) Alliance, and Muharrem Ince, the former presidential candidate of the opposition bloc in the 2018 elections and a former member of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), will run as the candidate of the Homeland Party.

While the deadline ended Monday evening, others including a national socialist party leader could not pass the threshold. Dogu Perincek, the chair of the Patriotic Party, could collect only 27,000 signatures.

Perincek had admitted in a webcast a short time before the end of the deadline that he recently met with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and proposed to take part in the People's Alliance, alongside the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and MHP, but was rejected.

He said that they were not allowed into the alliance because Erdogan and his party are "afraid of the United States."

"They do not wish to form a government with the Patriotic Party who supports leaving NATO and allying with the Turkish states in Asia," Perincek said, adding.

"It's because of his fear [of the US] that he [Erdogan] waltzes with an American puppet, a Jew like Zelenski."

He also claimed that "the US-led system" blocked the path of the Patriotic Party.

Perincek's political discourse is based essentially on targeting the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and the Kurdish-led autonomous administration in Northern Syria.

An Erkan Trukten, who earlier targeted in a tweet two Italian NATO soldiers that arrived in Turkey's Hatay province to take part in a rescue mission after the earthquake on 6 February, managed to collect 2,588 signatures through individual means. He had posted a video on 24 February of himself questioning the soldiers rudely, and written:

"Shock! NATO soldiers are wandering around in Hatay. I've caught them."