MHP leader: Erdoğan wants to rule Turkey like a ‘family business’

MHP leader: Erdoğan wants to rule Turkey like a ‘family business’

MHP leader: Erdoğan wants to rule Turkey like a ‘family business’

MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli speaks at a parliamentary group meeting of the Nationalist Movement Party on Dec. 8, 2015. AA Photo

While bidding to impose a presidential system in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan actually aims to govern the country “like a family business,” Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has said. 

“Erdoğan’s temperament is spreading danger,” Bahçeli said at a parliamentary group meeting of his party on Dec. 8, openly calling on Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu to take control of foreign policy as Erdoğan’s unpredictable conduct is creating “growing danger.”

The MHP focused on Erdoğan’s recent remarks in which he floated the idea of transforming Turkey into a “semi-presidential” system, in order to remove the country’s alleged “dual-headed system,” referring to the powers held by the elected president and the elected prime minister. 

Bahçeli said Erdoğan’s insistence on the issue at a time when Turkey is embroiled in a deep foreign policy crisis, particularly when tensions between Ankara and Moscow have escalated after Turkey’s recent downing of a Russian warplane near its border with Syria, shows how he prioritizes his personal interests over national interests.

“He [Erdoğan] wants to rule the state like his own family business. The issue is about securing Erdoğan’s prosperity and future, not Turkey’s. The issue is not about reforming the system but satisfying and nourishing Erdoğan’s personal goal,” he stated.

“Let’s image that Erdoğan becomes ‘the president’ or a ‘partisan-president,’ who will guarantee that he will then not ask for the kingdom?” he asked, referring to Erdoğan’s remarks in favor of passing a constitutional amendment that would pave the way for a partisan-presidential system.

“After making his son-in-law minister, who will prevent his son from ascending to throne as the second Erdoğan?” Bahçeli also said, referring to ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Berat Albayrak, the president’s son-in-law, who was appointed as Turkey’s new energy minister last month in Davutoğlu’s new cabinet.

“I’m calling on Mr. Davutoğlu: You are the government. You hold the authority. The national will has tasked your party with governing the country. In foreign policy, multi-headedness and the government remaining idle are very disadvantageous,” Bahçeli said.

“Leaving foreign policy solely to Erdoğan’s daily polemical remarks leaves the government behind and is seriously unfavorable for Turkey. Mr. Prime Minister, do not allow this. Fulfill your duties. Conduct foreign policy and insistently ask the president to remain within his constitutional boundaries,” he added.