Give up your son, take the govt, Turkey's nationalist opposition leader tells Erdoğan

Give up your son, take the govt, Turkey's nationalist opposition leader tells Erdoğan

Umut Erdem – ANKARA
Give up your son, take the govt, Turkeys nationalist opposition leader tells Erdoğan

In this Sunday, May 31, 2015 file photo, Devlet Bahceli, Turkey's opposition leader of the Nationalist Action Party, MHP, makes the sign of a "Gray wolf " as he addresses an election rally in Istanbul, Turkey. AP Photo

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has said his party could form a coalition with the Justice and Development Party (AKP) on condition that Turkey’s huge corruption cases, engulfing four former ministers and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son Bilal Erdoğan, are reopened.

“We are not closed to talks. There are a number of alternatives … There are people who want us to be [in] government to avoid the slaughtering of nationalists, but we will not give up our principles for this. They want us to form a coalition with the AKP, but what will we do with the Dec. 17 and Dec. 25 [2013] graft probes,” Bahçeli was quoted as saying by sources at his party’s provincial and district heads meeting on June 14. 

“Give us Bilal and take the government,” he added. 

Stating that he had told MHP supporters in election campaign rallies that they would pursue the corruption probes that the government wanted to cover up, Bahçeli said the MHP was “sensitive” about the issue and “could not overlook it.”

“Will we not call them to account for the money that they ‘zeroed?’ There is also Bilal on one side of this issue,” he said, referring to the wiretap recordings in which President Erdoğan apparently asks his son whether he has “zeroed” or unloaded all the cash held in storage by the Erdoğan family. 

On Sept. 1, 2014, the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office controversially ruled that there were no legal grounds for the prosecution of 96 suspects, including Bilal Erdoğan, who were accused by prosecutors of bribery and corruption in the Dec. 25, 2013 investigation.

The larger of two dossiers in the corruption probes, on the other hand, was dropped by the newly assigned prosecutor in October 2014. Some 53 graft suspects including former ministers’ sons, the former manager of Halkbank, and a controversial Iranian-Azeri businessman were implicated in the Dec 17. investigation.