Davutoğlu claims MHP and HDP cooperated for attacks in Adana and Mersin
AA PhotoPrime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has claimed that the opposition parties “cooperated” for the recent twin bomb attacks on Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) headquarters in southern Turkey.
Speaking at a gathering for provincial heads and mayors of his party on May 20, Davutoğlu noted that both the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the HDP had issued similar statements accusing the AKP of being behind the attacks on HDP’s offices in Adana and Mersin in southern Turkey.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also made statements just a few hours after the attack accusing the ruling party, Davutoğlu said, vowing that the AKP would “never be involved in actions that could endanger the election process.”
“You must not be part of any tension anywhere ... That’s our instruction,” he said, adding that party members should “hold their head high.”
The opposition parties seem to be part of a “coalition of opposition,” only united by a desire to bring down the AKP, Davutoğlu said.
HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş had said earlier that the MHP has no links to the recent bomb attacks on two HDP offices in Adana and Mersin.
“The MHP has no links to the attacks. Their deputy leader has made a statement about it. Incidents also took place in Kırşehir province. Some Ülkücü [nationalist groups linked to the MHP] phoned me personally and said it has no links to them. I believe this,” Demirtaş told daily Hürriyet in Mersin on May 19, which he was visiting for an election rally.
Opposition concerned over poll safety
Davutoğlu’s vows over poll safety came as the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) also expressed their concerns.
In an interview with the Hürriyet Daily News on May 19, CHP head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said his party was taking its “own measures” to secure the safety of ballot boxes and the vote-counting process.
Similarly, MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli expressed his concerns in an interview with daily Milliyet on May 20, repeating his suspicion of the accuracy of the Ankara mayoral race last year.
“I showed deep sensitivity over election safety at that time. I explained the issue with simple examples [to my provincial organizations]. Let’s imagine that a party received 11 votes, this figure could become 111 if one added a single 1 while registering it,” Bahçeli said.
Underlining that they had received many notifications of potential fraud attempts, he said he was not surprised at the situation.
“Wouldn’t somebody who ruined everything in Turkey do the same thing to elections? That’s why we are issuing warnings to our organization,” Bahçeli added.
PKK threatens vote
Meanwhile, the armed wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK), the People’s Defense Forces (HPG), has reportedly sent letters to citizens in cities in southeastern Anatolia, threatening over potential votes cast for the AKP.
“You should know that the price you will pay is going to be very big if even one vote is cast from your family [for the AKP],” read the HPG’s letter addressed to families who had met candidates of the AKP, semi-official Anadolu Agency reported on May 20.
“How can you stand with the AKP even though it has become so dirty? You either do not understand or you have been bought by them. You should know that we know how to spoil the pleasure you will get from this money,” it also read.
Erdoğan’s rally in Adana rejected
Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s application to hold a public rally in Adana on May 29 has been rejected by the provincial unit of the Supreme Election Board (YSK) in the Seyhan district of Adana, on the grounds that the meeting area has already been reserved for a rally of the Motherland Party (Vatan Partisi) on the same day. The YSK’s Seyhan branch turned down the Adana Governor’s demand for permission for a presidential rally by a majority vote, daily Radikal reported.
“The president should be impartial according to our constitution. The president’s visit to Adana before the elections would cast a shadow on the polls. We will host him in the best possible way if he wishes to visit Adana after the polls,” Adana Mayor Hüseyin Sözlü told reporters on May 20.
Denying that the MHP was responsible for the recent attacks, the HDP co-chair pointed the finger at the government.
On May 18, bombs hit two local headquarters of the Kurdish problem-focused HDP in the southern provinces of Adana and Mersin, weeks before the June 7 general election. Hidden in a cargo parcel and a gift-packaged flower pot, the two bombs injured at least three people.