MHP denies it will join next government
Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which cooperated with the ruling party in amending the constitution in last month’s referendum, has denied speculation that it will appoint ministers during a cabinet reshuffle expected to take place before the end of May.
“[Rumors] that the MHP will join the government are out of the question. The day will come, God willing, for a single-party MHP government. But the MHP is not a party that will fill someone’s deficiencies,” MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli told reporters on May 2 after a parliamentary group meeting.
According to some speculation, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) was set to offer the MHP some portfolios during a cabinet reshuffle in a bid to intensify cooperation between the two parties, especially before the upcoming legislative work in parliament to harmonize the existing laws with the charter amendments that will endow President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with vastly enhanced powers.
Bahçeli said the AKP had 316 deputies and could form a government but that the MHP would not take participate in the cabinet. “We may have 40 deputies, but our weight in politics is much more than that,” he said.
The MHP leader did not comment on Erdoğan’s decision to return to his party but said the public should respect the decisions of the AKP and the president.
Fight against Gülenists in politics should begin
In his weekly address, Bahçeli also gave important messages to the AKP and Erdoğan on the fight against the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ).
“Recent developments have shown that the struggle against the FETÖ has not yet reached a satisfactory level. The picture we face is horrifying,” Bahçeli said, referring to last week’s massive purges in the police department.
Bahçeli repeated calls on the government to deal with the political leg of the group, asking, “Are there no famous politicians linked with FETÖ while there are so many civil servants affiliated with it?”
The MHP leader also criticized the government for not interrogating politicians over their FETÖ links, declaring that “the fight against FETÖ is being sabotaged.”
“No position will help the guilty to hide. If the probe on [FETÖ’s links with] politicians is proceeding slowly, that means there is something fishy in it,” he added.