Bahçeli warns Erdoğan against travelling to US, criticizes his funeral visit

Bahçeli warns Erdoğan against travelling to US, criticizes his funeral visit

ANKARA – Doğan News Agency
Bahçeli warns Erdoğan against travelling to US, criticizes his funeral visit

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and government ministers should refrain from traveling to the United States these days, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has said, while harshly criticizing Erdoğan’s attendance at boxer Muhammad Ali’s funeral when Turkey has its own “martyrs.”

“Of course, we share deceased Muhammad Ali’s sorrow, but while we have our own martyrs, we do not approve anyone ignoring our own pain and attending a funeral in another country,” he said.

During his party’s weekly parliamentary group meeting, Bahçeli warned Erdoğan and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) ministers and executives about such travels, saying: “You won’t be able to find partisan judges and prosecutors on the other side of the ocean, and you won’t be able to get away from being the culprit of a big scandal if the Iranian smuggler sells you out,” in reference to arrested Iranian-Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab while accusing AKP politicians of involvement in Zarrab’s suspected crimes.

“While our hearts were burning” with the Istanbul Vezneciler and Mardin Midyat terror attacks, Erdoğan’s trip to the U.S. was “though-provoking and disturbing,” Bahçeli said. 

“While our country is experiencing very hard days … expressing condolences at different addresses cannot be explained by rationality and conscience,” said Bahçeli.  

Meanwhile, Bahçeli said he suspected the AKP was chasing an opportunity to negotiate with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and reiterated his party’s firm stance regarding any peace negotiations with the organization, saying “the process has ended and been buried.” 

“The government should not engage in any deception, such as initiating a new solution process or meeting with the terror organization,” he said.

“We suspect that the AKP is searching for an opportunity and creating a justification to sit at a [negotiation] table with the PKK. The prime minister’s words – ‘they offered to meet, but we declined’ – have made us very suspicious. If this proves to be right and if we catch the AKP meeting with the PKK in secret settings, we would make life unbearable for this country and this government and demolish the world on top of them,” said Bahçeli.