Nationalist Movement Party slams gov’t over İmralı talks
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli addresses his lawmakers during a parliamentary group meeting in Parliament. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ
The government, the main opposition party, media, civil society organizations and intellectuals who lent support to the İmralı meetings received severe criticism from Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli during an address to his party’s parliamentary group yesterday.
It was the first occasion on which Bahçeli commented on a Jan.3 visit by Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputy Ayla Akat Ata and independent deputy and co-chairman of Kurdish the umbrella organization the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) Ahmet Türk to İmralı Island, where Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), has been imprisoned since 1999. The meeting took place with the government’s consent.
Accusing the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of cooperating with terrorists, Bahçeli said the government’s next steps would offer better conditions for Öcalan, legal amendments in Parliament and finally constitutional amendments; noting that all these steps were related to the project of separating Turkey under a federal system.
“Only the MHP is standing next to the Turkish nation,” Bahçeli said. “Did our martyrs die for nothing?”
Bahçeli said that the government seeking help from the “baby-killer in İmralı” was a situation of degeneration. “As visiting the chief of the terrorists is blessed, in this case, let the terrorist in İmralı be yours. You should know that I will go to Silivri and visit our 26th chief of general staff, who is accused of being a terrorist and forming a terrorist organization and who, according to us, assumed a historical duty in the fight against terror and has carried out unique services on this issue; and with God’s permission, will hug him in a short time,” Bahçeli said, referring to former Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ, who is currently being held under arrest in connection with the Ergenekon case, which aims to unravel an alleged ultra-nationalist gang accused of planning to topple the government. The MHP leader also criticized the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) for “issuing credit for separatism,” referring to the CHP leader’s recent support of the government’s talks with Öcalan
EU Minister Egemen Bağış, meanwhile, urged Bahçeli not to use the current process with “populist and exploitative” motives. “Let alone allowing disintegration of Turkey, these concepts cannot be even comfortably used by us like Mr. Bahçeli did,” Bağış said. “Nobody should have doubt; our nation’s sensitivity and expectations are also red lines for us.”.