MHP head accuses PM of ‘not being relieved’ by Balyoz releases, vows to ‘get even’ in one year
The MHP leader also vowed for the “punishment” of the prosecutors in the Balyoz coup plot trial. DHA PhotoNationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has accused Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of “not being relieved” by the release of all convicts in the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup plot case, vowing to “get even in one year.”
Bahçeli was referring to a June 21 speech by Erdoğan, during which he stated that the recent releases of convicts in the Balyoz case became possible because of the AKP-supported 2010 constitutional referendum changes, which allowed individual applications to the Constitutional Court.
Addressing his party group at Parliament on June 24, Bahçeli recalled that the constitutional changes approved in the very same referendum also paved the way for Erdoğan’s potential presidential candidacy in the August elections, when Turkey will directly elect its president for the first time.
“Does he want to tell us that we should be grateful when the issue is of those who have been victimized? He is talking nonsense,” he said.
The MHP leader vowed for the “punishment” of the prosecutors in the Balyoz coup plot trial. “When will the jurists that ignored human rights and freedom face justice? We are thankful to the Constitutional Court. Fortunately, there are still some fair judges on duty,” Bahçeli said.
In the speech, he welcomed the presence in the audience of MHP deputy and retired-general Engin Alan.
Alan took his oath a few hours later during a General Assembly session almost three years after being elected as MP. His release came after an Istanbul court ruled for the release of all convicts in the Balyoz case, a day after the Constitutional Court ruled that the rights of 230 convicts were violated and should be retried.
MHP head Bahçeli also criticized the fact that only two key defendants, former General Kenan Evren and former Air Force Commander Tahsin Şahinkaya, were recently sentenced in the case investigating the Sept. 12, 1980 military coup d’état.
“If one investigates the Sept. 12 coup, they should not be proud of [convicting] just two old pro-coup people. How will we question the system of Sept. 12 and the loss of rights?” Bahçeli asked, claiming that MHP party members were among those who suffered the most at the time and that nobody called the killers of MHP members to account.
“Come on, you’d better give it up. Don’t be stubborn and announce our nation that you won’t be a presidential candidate,” MHP leader called on Erdoğan before adding: “God willing, we will oust you through elections and get even in one year, be sure of that.”
"You'll wish for your days in Pınarhisar," Bahçeli also said, referring to the prison where Erdoğan was jailed for four months in 1999.