The north’s ‘transport minister’ Erhan Arikli said on Thursday that his party the YDP should merge with another, namely the Milletin Partisi.

Speaking in a televised interview with the north’s public broadcaster BRT, he said he will make an “official merger proposal” to Milletin Partisi leader Bertan Zaroglu.

He also took the time to direct a barb at Talip Atalay, who is challenging him for the party’s leadership, saying Atalay had “gone above his station”.

Bertan Zaroglu was initially a founding member of the YDP in 2016 and was elected to ‘parliament’ as a YDP ‘MP’ alongside Arikli in 2018.

However, he then left the party in 2021, founding the Milletin Partisi, before appearing on the candidate list of another one of the north’s ruling parties, the UBP, in the 2022 ‘parliamentary’ election.

He was not elected and subsequently returned to the Milletin Partisi in January.

The YDP’s leadership election is set to take place on April 28, having been postponed from its initially planned date of February 17 as a war of words between its two leadership candidates threatened to tear the party apart.