AKP, MHP hold first joint local election rally in Turkey’s west
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) held their first joint rally on March 17 as part of their “People’s Alliance” in the Aegean province of İzmir for the upcoming March 31 local elections.
“We are holding our first joint rally in İzmir with MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli because we attach great importance to this city. We are impairing many traps set in our way with Bahçeli, who I regard as the most skillful politician in Turkish politics,” said President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the rally.
“Some have been attempting to pave way for themselves with the support of the terrorist organization. The candidate they have presented is someone of that sort,” he added, referring to Tunç Soyer, the mayoral candidate of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) whose candidacy has stirred controversies due to his father’s involvement in Turkey’s bloody 1980 military coup.
“Soyer’s candidacy is endorsed by Qandil,” Erdoğan claimed, referring to the northern Iraqi mountains where the central headquarters and training camps of the outlawed PKK, a group listed as terrorist by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU, are located.
The president also criticized the long tenure of the CHP’s governance in İzmir, saying local authorities have been unable to “succeed” in the province for years.
“The CHP has been exploiting [modern Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal] Atatürk for their policies, but have you ever seen any contribution by them to Atatürk’s ideal of taking Turkey above the level of contemporary civilizations?” he added.
Erdoğan said women were free to wear whatever clothes they like, slamming the CHP for presenting the contrary.
Erdoğan calls on EU to halt negotiations ‘if they can dare to’
Also speaking about a recent European Parliament vote to suspend Turkey’s EU accession process, Erdoğan called on Brussels to take action “if they can dare to.”
“That’s fine. Your decision is not binding, but it will not be beneficial for them. We expected such a decision. But they can’t dare to,” he said.
Erdoğan said the European Parliament was “supportive of separatist politics.” “They will hand over this country to terror organizations if they can actually find the opportunity,” he claimed.
He said all eyes would be on the upcoming local elections in March 31.
“March 31 is an election for Turkey’s perpetuity. We should draw results from this election so that it will not harm the climate of stability and confidence [in the country].” he added.
On March 13, the European Parliament voted against Turkey’s EU accession negotiations and called on European countries to formally suspend the process.