Unity of AKP is crucial for stability: MHP leader
Serkan Demirtaş ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Nationalist Movement Party leader Devlet Bahçeli says developments in Middle East could be very dangerous for Turkey. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZMaintaining the unity and integrity of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is crucial to Turkey’s stability, especially at a time when the country is under the threat from its neighbors, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahçeli said.
“Even in the case of a division of the AKP, the composition of the current parliament will not allow the creation of a healthy political structure,” Bahçeli said at a press conference held yesterday.
Bahçeli’s statement came on the same day Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan began his official work in Ankara, following 22 days recovery time at his Istanbul’s residence after serious intestinal surgery.
During his absence, senior cabinet members and AKP officials wavered on the party’s political line regarding a much-debated bill related to the penalty for match-fixers. This prompted discussions as to whether the party would be divided were Erdoğan’s health conditions to prevent him from returning to office.
“We welcome Mr. Prime Minister’s return to office following a medical problem. We wish him good health,” Bahçeli said. However, Bahçeli’s welcoming statement was not limited to Erdoğan’s personal health status but also to that of the AKP. Recalling that the MHP’s coalition partner, Democratic Left Party (DSP), passed through such dissolution in 2002 causing severe political consequences, Bahçeli said division of the AKP could affect stability in Turkey.
He underlining that the AKP had received nearly 50 percent of votes during June 12 elections, and drew attention to the political parties engaged in writing Turkey’s new charter. Bahçeli said protecting the country’s stability was the most important issue, “We are under threat of war with Syria, developments in the Middle East could be very dangerous,” he said.
Criticizing the government for a foreign policy leaving Turkey as a target for its neighbors, Bahçeli urged the government that those imperialist powers who pushed Turkey into this minefield could try to do the same thing again in the future.
For Bahçeli, the most important political development was the consensus provided among four political parties over the establishment of the reconciliation committee; however, he disagreed with ruling party officials the process should be ended in 2012. “There is no need to set such deadlines for the constitution if we place Turkey’s future ahead everything,” he said.
Recalling his party will continue to contribute to the process, Bahçeli reiterated the MHP’s red lines on the new charter will remain on the table during the process.
On the issue of jailed deputies and long detention periods, Bahçeli blamed the AKP for what he called strangeness and hijacking of the people’s will. “There are two ways to solve this problem: The first one is the judiciary’s use of its authority on the matter and release the jailed deputies from three different parties, and the second one is a legal move initiated by the ruling party. With their 326 deputies, they are responsible for getting rid of this problem,” he said.
The MHP leader downplayed allegations an ultra-nationalist group was planning to assassinate him in a move to spark a massive conflict between Turks and Kurds in the country. “I do not take this plot seriously,” he said.
Speaking on another plot which affected the party during the pre-election period through the release of illegally taken video recordings of senior MHP members, Bahçeli said they had given all information they had to prosecutors. “Our sincere wish is to speed up the prosecution and publicize the results, but we have not heard of any developments so far. We have demanded a probe into the possibility of a foreign dimension which may exist as part of the plot,” he said.