‘I do not recognize Erdoğan as president,’ MHP head says

‘I do not recognize Erdoğan as president,’ MHP head says

Deniz Zeyrek - ANKARA
‘I do not recognize Erdoğan as president,’ MHP head says

DHA Photo

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has accused President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of holding “pirate” election rallies to ask people to vote for the government, stressing he did not recognize Erdoğan as the president of Turkey. 

“Let me be frank: I do not see him as the president. I have not allowed any of my deputies to accompany Erdoğan’s visits abroad since Aug. 10 [2014]. He’s been criticizing opposition parties with a pro-government manner in his pirate rallies. He is a follower of the government. These pirate rallies are an insult to [Prime Minister Ahmet] Davutoğlu’s personality,” Bahçeli told daily Hürriyet in an interview May 20. 

Bahçeli said he could not understand how Davutoğlu can digest this and said he failed to capitalize on the chance given to him last year by being elected as the chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). “He zeroed his reputation. He became a spare part. These pirate rallies are political and partisan. It’s a constitutional crime. [Erdoğan] should be withdrawn within constitutional boundaries. The founders, deputies and executives of the AKP should urge him [to withdraw]. If he does not do this, it’s us who will pull him back to his boundaries after the elections,” he said. Calling Erdoğan co-leader of the AKP and co-prime minister, Bahçeli said the elections on June 7 are going to be a vote of confidence for the president, adding if the ruling party gets less than 52 percent of votes, Erdoğan should resign. Erdoğan was elected as the president with 52 percent of the votes in last year’s elections.  

“If he can’t get 52 percent of the votes, that means he fails in the vote of confidence. He has to resign then. That’s what we want. He thinks that if he can get this it will be his success but he will blame Serok [leader in Kurdish] Ahmet [Davutoğlu] in the case of unsuccessfulness,” he said. 

Crisis ahead with president 

In the case the AKP loses the government, its successor’s relationship with the president will be highly problematic, Bahçeli said, predicting that a power conflict can lead to a political crisis in the country. “Erdoğan sees himself as strong, as this government does not use its power of legislation. There is no power superior to laws,” Bahçeli said. 

“What can he do if the parliament adopts a law about his palace? He can resist by not approving the law, but this is limited. He can dissolve the parliament and call for early elections. That can be; there is no problem to go to polls in order to avoid a big crisis in democracies,” the MHP leader said.

“Tayyip Erdoğan’s way [of ruling] is not sustainable. Everybody will stay within the constitutional boundaries. Can it go on like this? Even the price of tomatoes will be set by the president,” he said.   

Exploiting Morsi for votes

Bahçeli also criticized Erdoğan for his attempt to exploit the death penalty issued on former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi for votes in the election. “They are exploiting Morsi. As you can see, they are using rhetoric to play for sympathy as if he will be subject to the same thing Morsi is facing. ‘Our shroud is ready,’ they say. There is no need to take this seriously. There is no death penalty in Turkey because of the 6th Protocol [of the Council of Europe],” he said. 

Bahçeli also said if the MHP forms the government he will re-launch the probe into the corruption case that was launched against Erdoğan and his family members in December 2013.