MHP leader asks: Does Bush’s daughter support Turkey’s nationalist party?
ANKARAWhile criticizing Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his words on Berkin Elvan, the 15-year-old victim of the Gezi Park protests who died March 11 after spending 269 days in coma, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has posed an unusual rhetorical question: Does former U.S. President George Bush’s daughter Jenna support the MHP?
“These remorseless people who divide the youth, who labeled a 15-year-old country boy a ‘terrorist’ and whose battle cries can be heard in election rallies, have gone too far,” Bahçeli wrote in a series of Twitter messages late March 15.
Erdoğan had controversially referred to Elvan in a campaign speech on March 15, saying: “This kid with steel marbles in his pockets, with a slingshot in his hand, his face covered with a scarf, who had been taken up into terror organisations, was unfortunately subjected to tear gas.”
In his response on Twitter, Bahçeli argued that Turkey needed “humane characteristics that do not separate, antagonize, alienate, stir up, divide or corrupt,” and stressed the need to “break prejudices and bridge the emotional and intellectual gap between people.”
“Those who make a polemic out of the dead bodies of Berkin and Burak Can are abasing themselves. They are the only obstacle on Turkey’s path forward,” he added.
Burak Can Karamanoğlu, 22, was killed by a gunshot in the same neighborhood as young Berkin Elvan. The circumstances surrounding the death of Karamanoğlu remain unclear, but the father of the victim denied claims that an argument had broken out before the incident and said his son was killed by a “stray bullet” fired by protesters.
MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli maskes a wolf gesture
during a rally. AA Photo
“Everyone can make the wolf gesture if they want. Is the daughter of Bush also an ülkücü [a member of the MHP youth organization]? Metal music enthusiasts make a similar gesture, too. But their gesture looks like a bulldog. Ours is a grey wolf,” he said jokingly.
“The sign of the horns” hand gesture has a variety of meanings in different cultures. Members of the MHP-affiliated Ülkücü Ocakları groups use a similar but unrelated hand gesture to form the “Grey Wolf” nationalist symbol.
Former U.S. President George W. Bush’s daughter Jenna made headlines by showing “the sign of the horns” during her family’s visit to Norway in 2005.