MHP's Bahçeli: State of emergency right decision, will support it
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULJul 22, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Jul 22, 2016 12:00 am
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli announced his party's support for the government's decision to declare a state of emergency for the sake of the national interest of the Turkish people.
"The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) will stand uncompromisingly alongside the state and the people through such a dark and difficult time, whatever the cost," Bahçeli said in a statement on Thursday.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced a nationwide three-month state of emergency late on Wednesday following Friday's failed coup, which killed 246 people and injured over 1,500 others. The decision was published in the Official Gazette early on Thursday and went into effect.
Media uncovered that an aide to Chief of General Staff General Hulusi Akar, Lt. Cl. Levent Türkkan, confessed to being a member of the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ), called Bahçeli on the night of the coup attempt and told him that everything was "under control," in an effort to persuade Bahçeli to support the coup attempt.
According to MHP Deputy Chairman Semih Yalçın, Lt. Cl. Türkkan called MHP headquarters on the night of July 15 to put pressure on the party to support bringing down the democratically-elected government. Yalçın noted that chairman Bahçeli did not believe the aide's claims of having taken over complete control of the administration.
"This is unacceptable," Bahçeli reportedly said and went ahead to call Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım regarding the situation. Bahçeli was one of the first people to oppose the coup attempt on July 15.
"Our party has never supported a coup and has always sided with democracy," Bahçeli said during a parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday. He said that his party took action right after they saw jets flying above Ankara, an unusual military activity. Realizing the grave danger that faced Turkey, he called Yıldırım and pledged support for the government and the people.
Bahçeli has long supported the government's struggle against FETÖ infiltrators. During recent intra-party conflict for chairmanship, Bahçeli claimed a candidate was the political tool of the movement in December 2015, saying: "[T]here is a candidate who joined the MHP as a political figure from the Gülen Movement." It is speculated that Bahçeli meant Meral Akşener, a former MHP deputy and strong figure within the party.
In a speech in April, Bahçeli claimed that Turkey was finished with FETÖ's plots, and said: "I stress wholeheartedly that we will not give credit or lend support to political designs which originate overseas."