MHP leader calls on president to end ‘political rallies’

MHP leader calls on president to end ‘political rallies’

MHP leader calls on president to end ‘political rallies’

MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli.

The leader of Turkey’s main nationalist opposition party has strongly urged President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to cease holding “political rallies” during visits which are financed by state funds.

“We advise Mr. President not to deliver lengthy speeches at a time when the Turkish nation is in such an embroiled situation, to end his political trips and to cease attending collective opening ceremonies [for various facilities] using the state’s resources – which has been his habit since his prime ministry,” said Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, while speaking to a group of reporters late on Oct. 12, on the sidelines of a gathering of his party in Kızılcahamam in Ankara.

“What does Mr. President have to do with a collective opening ceremony? He should let [Prime Minister Ahmet] Davutoğlu do that,” Bahçeli said.

Earlier on Oct. 12, Erdoğan delivered a speech in the Black Sea province of Bayburt during a collective opening ceremony. Two hours later, he delivered another politically heavy speech at another opening ceremony in the neighboring province of Gümüşhane.

Recalling that Erdoğan announced on Oct. 11 that Parliament would make legal arrangements this week to bring an end to vandalism and violence in the streets that have left 37 dead, Bahçeli said the president should urgently make up his mind about his position.

“Is he the president, is he the prime minister or is he the leader of a party? He should openly express what he is. He should give up assuming the tasks of Prime Minister Davutoğlu and considering himself as the leader of AK Party [the ruling Justice and Development Party],” Bahçeli said.

“If something is to be brought to the Parliament by somebody, this is the responsibility of the ruling party,” he added, noting that Erdoğan’s constitutional task was solely limited to either approving or rejecting legislation sent to his office by Parliament.