MHP dissident politician Sinan Oğan says he escaped assassination attempt

MHP dissident politician Sinan Oğan says he escaped assassination attempt

MHP dissident politician Sinan Oğan says he escaped assassination attempt Opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) dissident politician Sinan Oğan said on April 9 that he escaped an assassination attempt during a visit to the Bafra district of the Black Sea province of Samsun, while the district governor denied, saying he was exaggerating the incident.

Oğan was visiting local shopkeepers in the district at around 4:30 p.m. when his bodyguards spotted a man who was carrying a gun on his waist among the crowd.

The unidentified person immediately escaped the scene after bodyguards chased him. However, they could not apprehend the person and informed the police of the situation.

Speaking at an event in the district, Oğan said he escaped an assassination attempt.

“They escaped while preparing for an assassination. This is the point they [the government] brought Turkey to with just a ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ vote,” said Oğan, referring to the April 16 referendum on constitutional amendments, which could lead to a shift into an executive presidency if the “Yes” votes triumph. Oğan himself is a supporter of the “No” vote. 

He also called on Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım to step down unless he is able to provide them life safety, while adding that such attempts would not scare and abstain them from conducting the “No” campaign.

Samsun Governor İbrahim Şahin, however, denied such an assassination attempt, stating that the situation was being exaggerated.

“Police, who had been on duty to protect Oğan while he was about to enter the hall where his event would be held in our Bafra district, approached a person upon suspicion and he was followed after escaping. He was later apprehended with a blank firing gun. He visited one of his friends working as an accountant and walked down with the motive of curiosity. The case is not an assassination attempt as exaggerated,” Şahin said on his Twitter account.

The MHP dissent had previously been attacked by a man shouting “The real leader of the movement is Devlet Bahçeli” while he was giving a speech in Istanbul.

Last month, Oğan and three other lawmakers were expelled from the party over “acting in a way that would harm the party unity in a serious way,” “acting without discipline against the party leader and the hierarchy,” “engaging in actions that would harm party activities and encouraging others to do so” and “misusing their rights of being members and lawmakers in order to harm the party.” 

The split within the MHP started when dissidents criticized party leader Devlet Bahçeli, who has been the head of the party since 1997, over the party’s poor performance in the Nov. 1, 2015 election, in which it only won 11 percent of total votes – only one percent above the threshold – with 40 seats in parliament.