MHP leader Bahçeli slams ruling AKP member over contentious ‘new state’ remarks
MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli speaks during a press conference - AA photoThe leader of the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has slammed a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) member over his much-debated remarks on “founding a new state.”
MHP head Devlet Bahçeli criticized AKP member Ayhan Oğan after the latter said that “they are building a new state and its founding leader is President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.”
“A discredited person has mentioned a new state out of nowhere. If you want the truth, it’s a waste of effort and time to take this unbeknown and shadowy person’s nonsensical talk seriously,” Bahçeli said on his Twitter account on Aug. 5.
“The answering of these dire claims primarily by President Erdoğan is the most accurate and logical thing. Indeed, the head of the state is apparent. Having said that, we also have a lot to say. The fate of the nation is one and the same with the state in Turkish state tradition. To say that a new state is being formed is to accept the existence of an old one and then to announce the collapse of the targeted state,” he also said.
‘Whether you like it or not’
Oğan on Aug. 3 said that the “building of a new state” started after July 15, 2016, failed coup attempt, widely believed to have been masterminded by the followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.
“Now we are founding a new state. Whether you like it or not, this new state’s founding leader is Tayyip Erdoğan,” Oğan said during a TV program on private broadcaster CNNTürk, after which main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Aytuğ Atıcı asked whether the current state “was demolished.”
“The Supreme Military Council was rebuilding of the Turkish Armed Forces. We shattered the order of tutelage. On July 15, all tutelage mechanisms within the state fell to pieces. The state system in which bureaucratic oligarchy is the hegemon is over. Now, a system that people are directly determining is coming. Its founding leader is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. No matter what your political views are, July 15 has a basic identity. That identity is a national and local one. The mission and vision of the formation that’s being built is that,” Oğan said.
‘Olive branch extended to FETÖ’
In his statement, Bahçeli blasted Oğan for “using the same rhetoric as” the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) and the “parallels,” referring to the Gülenists.
“The resistance shown against July 15 FETÖ coup attempt by Turkish nation is a magnificent epic. This is the clear reality. The future of the Turkish nation was protected on July 15 and with April 16 referendum, the governing system was changed and the state was made stronger. To say that a new state is being found is being a dirty mouthpiece of FETÖ and a dark search of treacherous partners looking for mandate,” he also said.
Saying that “the remarks on new state are calls by those missing the parallel state,” Bahçeli noted that Oğan’s remark is an olive branch extended to FETÖ.
“The state is one and its name is Turkish Republic. It will stay that way. If there are those aiming for a new state or a founding leader using July 15 as a step and April 16 as an excuse, they should pull themselves together,” he also said.
Oğan defends himself
Earlier in the day, Oğan released a statement on the issue, saying that after the July 2016 coup attempt and April 16 constitutional referendum, the “structures that infiltrated into the state are being cleaned up.”
“The process of building and strengthening the state goes simultaneously with cleaning these structures up and the leader of this process is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” Oğan said, as he praised Bahçeli “for being on the side of an anti-imperialist and independent Turkey.”
“The leader of the main opposition [Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu] has the mandate logic from 100 years before. A new process has started after April 16. No one is powerful enough to prevent it. Political history will write it like this: The founder of the Turkish Republic is Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and the founding party is the CHP. The leader of the second process, in which Turkey is designed as an absolutely independent state of the people, is Erdoğan and the political leaders siding with him. The leader of that independence is the AKP,” he also said.
Oğan also criticized Kılıçdaroğlu for “his whereabouts” on July 15, 2016.
“My words are clear. Weak creatures saving the country from social media are attacking us. No one should test our patriotism. Question the CHP leader who escaped rather than resisting with the people against tanks,” he added.
CHP files complaint
The CHP, on the other hand, announced on Aug. 4 that it filed a complaint against Oğan’s words.
“I filed a complaint to Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office against AKP member Ayhan Oğan over confessing to the crime of abolishing the constitutional order,” CHP Istanbul lawmaker Ali Şeker said, while sharing his application on social media.
Another name from the CHP to slam Oğan’s words was deputy Özgür Özel, who said that “Oğan’s remarks clearly show that he has abolishing the constitutional order in mind.”
“We are notifying all chief public prosecutors from here. This person’s words are in the scope of a crime,” Özel said on Aug. 4.
“We are waiting for an institutional statement from the AKP. We are calling on the AKP’s spokespeople and group deputy chairs; what are you going to do about this? There is only one founder of this country and that is Mustafa Kemal Atatürk,” he added.
AKP spokesperson Mahir Ünal, meanwhile, said on Aug. 5 that Oğan's comments are binding only for Oğan himself.
"We would like to state once again that the founding leader of the state of the Turkish Republic is the hero of Çanakkale and Independence Wars, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk," Ünal said, as he added that a campaign was launched against the AKP over this incident.
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım also commented on Oğan's remarks, saying that "what is spoken on TV is not binding for the AKP."