Nation Alliance (Turkey)

The Nation Alliance (Turkish: Millet İttifakı), abbreviated as NATION (Turkish: MİLLET) is an electoral and political alliance in Turkey, made up of six opposition parties to contest the 2023 Turkish general election against its main rival, the People's Alliance.[2][3] Originally established prior to the country's 2018 general election,[4] the alliance had consisted of four opposition parties across the political spectrum, which had found common ground on withstanding Turkey's newly established presidential system.[5]

Nation Alliance
Millet İttifakı
AbbreviationNATION (MİLLET)
LeaderCollective leadership (Table of Six)
Presidential candidateKemal Kılıçdaroğlu
Founded5 May 2018
IdeologyStrengthened parliamentary system
Liberal democracy[b]
Social democracy[c]
Millî Görüş[f]
Liberal conservatism[g]
Economic liberalism[i]
Political positionBig tent
Slogan"We will win by uniting!" (Birleşe birleşe kazanacağız!)
Grand National Assembly
174 / 600
Metropolitan municipalities
11 / 30
District municipalities
277 / 1,351
Provincial councillors
209 / 1,251
Municipal Assemblies
6,206 / 20,498

Although Nation had become rather inactive as a bloc following their defeat in 2018; the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Good Party (İYİ) restored the alliance for the 2019 local elections, which delivered the opposition their first major electoral successes in years.[6]

The alliance has since enlarged, welcoming two breakaway parties from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP); namely the Future Party (GP) and Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA), both of which had already announced their intention to nominate a joint candidate along with the parties of the Nation.[7] Shortly after the enlargement, Nation Alliance announced its prospective government platform, becoming the first political entity in Turkey to do so prior to an election.[8]

Generally, the platform puts a particular emphasis on establishing a strengthened parliamentary system; reversing the current trend of democratic backsliding, reinstating rule of law and separation of powers, as well as improving Turkey's human rights record.[9][10]

The current format of the Nation Alliance features stark differences in comparison with 2018, back when all parties had nominated their individual candidates for the presidency, and the alliance had more of an electoral focus than a political one, interconnecting parties with vaguely defined precepts.[5] In contrast with the past, the parties now strive to act with consensus; laying the groundwork of a potential democratic transition in post-Erdoğan Turkey.[11][12]

History and backgroundEdit

2017 constitutional referendumEdit

A constitutional referendum was held in April 2017, which transformed the political system of Turkey from a parliamentary into a presidential one. The reforms were championed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the smaller oppositional Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).[13][14]

The constitutional referendum ultimately passed with a narrow margin of 2-3% on an 85% voter turnout.[15] Meanwhile, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), along with MHP now-dissidents such as Meral Akşener who would go onto establish the Good Party (İYİ),[16] voiced strong opposition to the constitutional amendments which were deemed undemocratic, autocratic and seen as a threat to rule of law, democracy and separation of powers within the country.[17]

The alliance had brought together many groups with differing ideologies that had campaigned for a "No" vote against the transition into a presidential system during the referendum, and those who were already in opposition to the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan under a common and unifying banner. As a result; the alliance's supportive bases were viewed as being spread out across many differing political views and ideologies, though unifying under an opposition to Erdoğan and support of a strengthened parliamentary system.[18]

2018 elections and 2019 local electionEdit

When the new AKP-MHP government legalized the formation of pre-election alliances in order to contest the 2018 elections together, which was previously limited,[19] speculation arose over the possibility of opposition groups also establishing an alliance. After several sets of talks, the CHP announced on 1 May 2018 the formation of its alliance with Akşener's new Good Party, as well as with the extraparliamentary Felicity and Democrat parties. In order for the Good Party to compete in the election more effectively the CHP transferred 15 of its MPs to the new party so it could have a parliamentary group. Smaller transfers took place with the other two parties within the alliance, again as political support before the 2018 elections took place.[20]

During the 2018 elections, these constituent parties of the alliance contested under a common banner for the parliamentary election, while for the presidential election each individual party nominated its own candidate, though the parties stated beforehand that they would support the leading opposition presidential candidate; Muharrem İnce, if the 2018 presidential election was proponed for a head-to-head second round.[21][22][23]

On 4 July, following the alliance winning 189 seats out of the 600 seats in the Grand National Assembly, the Good Party General Secretary Aytun Çıray announced that the Nation Alliance at that point had been partially dissolved, citing the lack of a need for a post-election alliance.[24] In response, the CHP's spokesperson Bülent Tezcan expressed that the electoral alliance was no longer technically necessary, but that the unity of the member alliance parties under and in-supporting of a joint set of democratic fundamental values such as separation of powers, parliamentarianism, rule of law and human rights within Turkey were necessary and as such would continue.[25]

Though, during the 2019 local elections the alliance came together once again with prominence and achieved overwhelming success, such as winning 6 out of the 7 largest mayoral municipalities, one being İstanbul which had been under the rule of conservative parties for over 20 years, as well as the capitol Ankara.

After these results, the electoral alliance this time took a less-temporary lasting stance as an electoral alliance, instead being a big tent political alliance, aiming to unify the dissident Turkish population until the future 2023-24 elections and possibly establish ground for a coalition government in the future.


The alliance today holds a large portion of support across Turkey, as it covers the significant majority of oppositional voters within the country, with the big-tent approach by the alliance also helping it gain support from more religious and socio-conservative groups within the country.[18] The Islamist Felicity Party and the AKP-splinters DEVA and Future parties, as well as the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP). These developments has seen the alliance gain prominence over the past 2 years, being seen as a way for the alliance to open up to religious voters, undecided Kurds and ex-AKP/MHP voters.

Most opinion polls and electoral projections which took place between mid-2021 and 2022 indicated that the alliance will become the dominant political force within the public in the country, and possibly the next majority-government of the country in the upcoming 2023 elections.[26][27]

The Table of SixEdit

Party leaders during one of the “Enhanced and Strengthened Parliamentary System” meetings.

From 2019 to 2023, İYİ, CHP, SP, DP, as well as DEVA and GP met as the “Table of Six” (Turkish: Altılı Masa) to formulate a post Erdoğan government. This would include a "enhanced and strengthened" parliamentary system modeled after other parliamentary European democracies, being deemed more democratic and stable from the previous parliamentary system of Turkey, including potentially a new constitution.[28][29]

On 3 March 2023, İYİ leader Meral Akşener announced that she took the decision to withdraw from the Table of Six and the Nation Alliance, and said her party would not support main opposition CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu as the joint candidate in the 2023 Turkish presidential election.[30] However on 6 March, she and her party rejoined the Table of Six after intense public criticism and after it was announced that Ekrem İmamoğlu and Mansur Yavaş would be appointed Vice-Presidents if Kılıçdaroğlu wins the presidential election.[31]

Goals and viewsEdit

The Nation Alliance seeks to transform Turkey's presidential system back into a newly modeled parliamentary system, and establish a new constitution that guarantees the fundamental; separation of powers, rule of law, democracy and human rights such as freedom of speech within the country, which all are considered to have been under significant suppression ever since the AKP took came to power in 2003.[32] The parties within the alliance and table all have separate manifestos, economic recovery plans, proposed projects and diplomatic approaches, though still generally work collaboratively on issues regarding most of these fields.

Stance on the European Union & accessionEdit

The alliance stands in-favor of greater European integration and EU membership in a whole, thus also aiming to comply with the Copenhagen criteria for Turkey's accession into the European union-partnership. Turkey's candidate status, and accession process has been halted since 2018.[33][34][35][36]

Stance on NATOEdit

Although the alliance and table supports Turkey's position within NATO,[37][38] it also supports the country's mediating and belligerent stance in the Russo-Ukrainian War,[39] and believes that Turkey should be reintegrated into the F-35 program while making use of the defensive weapons (such as the S-400) bought from and provided by Russia.[40] The parties occasionally criticize the support of some allied NATO member-states for the PKK, YPG and other armed militant groups in-conflict with the country.[41]


Members and political affiliationsEdit

Party Leader Position MPs (Grand National Assembly)
CHP Republican People's Party
(Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi)
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu Centre-left
134 / 600
İYİ Good Party
(İYİ Parti)
Meral Akşener Centre-right to right-wing[j]
36 / 600
DP Democrat Party
(Demokrat Parti)
Gültekin Uysal Centre-right
2 / 600
SP Felicity Party
(Saadet Partisi)
Temel Karamollaoğlu Islamism
1 / 600
DEVA Democracy and Progress
(Demokrasi ve Atılım Partisi)
Ali Babacan Centre-right
1 / 600
GP Future Party
(Gelecek Partisi)
Ahmet Davutoğlu Centre-right
0 / 600

Parties providing external support for the 2023 presidential electionEdit

Party Leader Position TBMM
BTP Independent Turkey Party[42] Hüseyin Baş Centre
0 / 600
TKP Communist Party of Turkey[43] Kemal Okuyan Far-left
HKP People's Liberation Party[44] Nurullah Ankut Far-left
TİP Workers' Party of Turkey[45] Erkan Baş Left-wing
4 / 600
TDP Party for Change in Turkey[46] Mustafa Sarıgül Centre
0 / 600
LDP Liberal Democratic Party[47] Gültekin Tırpancı Centre
0 / 600
Doğru True Parti[48] Rifat Serdaroğlu Centre to Centre-right
0 / 600

Support during the 2018–2019 electionsEdit

In 2018, the presidential candidate of the alliance's largest party CHP, Muharrem İnce, was supported by minor parties such as the national-conservative Homeland Party (YP),[49] liberal ANAP (Motherland)[50] alongside the feminist KP (Women's Party) and 8 more minor parties, while Meral Akşener's candidacy was supported by that of the DSP and DYP.[51]

The third largest opposition party, pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) supported the Nation Alliance in many provinces during the 2019 local elections, most significantly during re-run of the Istanbul local election, though took it a generally neutral stance for the elections throughout this period. The party collaborated with the Nation Alliance's mayoral candidates in many cities, but still put out many of its own candidates in other parts of country. The HDP would go on to form its own electoral alliance with other left-wing parties in mid-2022; the Labour and Freedom Alliance (Turkish: Emek ve Özgürlük İttifakı).[52][53] The HDP also stated that they would support the Nation Alliance's joint candidate even in the first round of the 2023 presidential election, if “their presidential candidate's profile fits into those political standards of the HDP voter.”[54][55][56]

Electoral historyEdit

General-parliamentary electionsEdit

Election Total alliance votes Total alliance seats Government Map
# % Rank # ±
June 2018 16,347,669 33,95% 2nd 47  AKP  
May 2023 TBD TBD TBD [to be determined] [to be determined] [to be determined]

Local electionsEdit

Election date Allied parties Total number of allied votes (Mayoral) % of allied votes within Turkey Number of allied municipalities Number of allied councillors
March 2019
  • CHP
  • İYİ
  • SP
  • DP
17,443,229 37,57% 265
March 2024
  • CHP
  • İYİ
  • DEVA
  • GP
  • SP
  • DP


  1. ^ The CHP, İYİ and DP specifically mention and state that they are loyal to, and protective of Atatürk’s values (Kemalism; Statism, Secularism, Reformism, Republicanism, Populism and Nationalism.)
  2. ^ Supported by all members in the alliance except for the Islamic conservative Saadet.
  3. ^ Social democracy is the prominent ideology witin the CHP as well as a portion of İYİ[1].
  4. ^ Supported by all members in the alliance except for the Islamic conservative Saadet.
  5. ^ Mentioned explicitly by CHP, İYİ and DP, although none oppose it except for Saadet.
  6. ^ Only supported by Saadet.
  7. ^ Liberal conservatism is the prominent ideology within the İYİ, DEVA, GP and DP.
  8. ^ Only supported by Saadet.
  9. ^ Supported by DEVA, GP and DP.
  10. ^ The party has also been rated as centrist.


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