Davutoğlu, MHP in heated exchange over status of Iraq’s Kirkuk
Former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have been engaged in a heated exchange of words over the status of Iraq’s Kirkuk, as well as Davutoğlu’s claims that MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli cooperated with the network of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.
“It is hypocritical for those who attacked [Justice and Development Party] AK Party governments in the past with the same language of [the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization] FETÖ regarding humanitarian aid going to Bayırbucak Turkmens to now speak of state strategy and the rights of Turkmens. It is hypocritical for those who have been silent about the Turkish identity of Crimea to now speak about Kirkuk’s Turkish identity,” Davutoğlu posted on his official Twitter account on Oct. 17.
“The attempts of those who could not protect their own party’s unity to stir unrest within our party are bound to be unsuccessful,” he added.
His comments came after MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli slammed Davutoğlu after the former prime minister recommended a suspension of military operations on Kirkuk following the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government’s (KRG) independence referendum, calling for dialogue between the KRG and the central Iraqi government over the status of Kirkuk.
“All military mobility around the city and all power shifts should be suspended,” Davutoğlu wrote on his official twitter account on Oct. 15.
In response, Bahçeli blasted Davutoğlu’s “ignorance” on Oct. 17.
“When the president, the cabinet, the Foreign Ministry and the Turkish Armed Forces are in agreement, it is fantasy and ignorance for the former prime minister to make a statement against state’s policies, smearing the rights of Turkmens,” he said.
“Who are you? With what courage are you talking? You are helping the [KRG President Masoud] Barzani lobby,” Bahçeli added.
In return, Davutoğlu accused the MHP head of acting with the Gülen movement in the Dec. 17 and 25 corruption cases filed against senior government figures.
“Those who posed in front of the press without shame, acting as a political mouthpiece of the Dec. 17 and 25 operations, and those who voiced all kinds of defamations against the AK Party after the July 2015 election, dragging the country into instability … should simply be left to the conscience of the lovers of the AK Party,” Davutoğlu wrote.
MHP Deputy Chair Semih Yalçın subsequently slammed Davutoğlu - who was forced to resign as prime minister after disagreements with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2016 - as “politically dead” and “morally exterminated.”
“Davutoğlu is politically dead, morally exterminated, and ideologically and conscientiously void,” Yalçın wrote in a statement.
“Davutoğlu’s actions and the results of his un-national outlook placed Turkey in the middle of many international crisis,” he said, adding that Davutoğlu’s “Neo-Ottomanist” outlook “undermined the reality of the region, the process of international relations, and the calls of history and geography.”