Turkey's nationalist opposition leader accuses ruling AKP of treason
Hürriyet photo / Selahattin SönmezThe leader of Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has accused the government of treason as he was re-elected to the party's top post.
"The ruling AKP (Justice and Development Party) has openly betrayed the Turkish history, Turkish nation and the state of the Republic of Turkey," Devlet Bahçeli told during the MHP's 11th Congress in Ankara on March 21.
In his address to around 15,000 party supporters in Ankara Sports Hall, Bahçeli focused his criticism on Turkey's government-led Kurdish peace bid.
"They sat down at the negotiation table with the murderer of İmralı to parse the Turkish nation on the basis of ethnicity and to divide the state," he said, referring to Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), who is in a prison on İmralı Island.
Hours before Bahçeli's speech, Öcalan called on the PKK to convene an extraordinary congress to "end the 40-year-long arms struggle" against Turkey.
Despite apparent roadblocks, the government continues the peace process with Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which shares a similar supporter base with the PKK.
"You have no tolerance for human avatars who besieged the homeland. You are ready to erase the AKP era, which stabbed hearts like a dagger," Bahçeli told his own supporters.
The MHP leader, who was the only nominee for the chairman post, was re-elected by getting all of 1149 valid votes cast by the delegates at the congress.