Energy deal with Iraqi Kurds a pretext for independent Kurdistan: MHP leader
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli stands at the rostrum. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZNationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has suggested the main motive behind the government’s move to deepen partnership in the energy field with Iraqi Kurds is to prepare the ground for an independent Kurdistan state.
“What did Prime Minister Erdoğan promise in payment for energy? How did he win the Peshmerga’s heart? Which national rights and interests did he sacrifice?” Bahçeli asked on Dec. 3, as he addressed a regular weekly meeting of his party’s parliamentary group.
“The truth is, under the pretext of oil, Kurdistan is concocted, its legitimacy is being provided and the AKP [the ruling Justice and Development Party] is asking for this,” he added.
Turkey and Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) reportedly signed a multi-billion-dollar energy package last week, infuriating Baghdad, which claims sole authority over oil exports and is wary of any move that could extend political autonomy in the region.
Despite stating that they stood next to the bilateral oil deal with Iraqi Kurds that bypassed the central government, Turkish officials have also sought to appease Baghdad by drawing it into the arrangement.
Bahçeli, meanwhile, declined to comment on tension which has peaked after a daily revealed on Nov. 28 that the government had signed a National Security Council (MGK) decision recommending an action plan against the Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen movement back in 2004.
“Since the day that it was founded, the MHP has been functioning on the principle of not getting involved in any other party’s internal affairs. It is not right for us and it is not ethical either to make comments on internal problems of a party, it doesn’t befit,” Bahçeli told reporters in response to questions after the parliamentary group meeting.