MHP leader, interior minister slam ECHR’s ruling on Demirtaş
Devlet Bahçeli, the head of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu have slammed a verdict by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on the release of the former co-leader of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtaş, who they both has categorized as a “terrorist.”
“When we look at Demirtaş, we see a terrorist. We do not accept, and we reject the ECHR’s decision that denies our national will and our courts,” Bahçeli said at a meeting with MHP’s provincial leaders on Dec. 24.
Bahçeli has reiterated that the HDP should be shut down on the grounds that it supports PKK, a terror organization. “We don’t want that terror organizations receive financial support from the treasury. We don’t want terrorists in the parliament.”
Bahçeli said that his call for shutting down the HDP was not an effort to drive a wedge within the People’s Alliance as suggested by Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. The People’s Alliance was formed between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the MHP before the 2017 constitutional amendment.
“The People’s Alliance is Turkey, represents the Turkish nation,” he said, recalling that the presidential and parliamentary elections would take place in 2023.
“I declare once again that our candidate for the presidency in 2023 is our President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” he added.
Euro court ruling meaningless, says Soylu
Interior Minister Soylu also slammed the ECHR’s ruling on Demirtaş on Dec. 24.
“The ECHR’s ruling, whatever it is based on, is meaningless and at loose ends,” he said at a meeting with the provincial heads of the Police Department.
Soylu has accused Demirtaş of encouraging the PKK’s activities and trying to legitimize the terrorists’ ideological base through his political identity.
The minister slammed Europe for imposing double-standard on terror-related issues when it came to Turkey, stating that it was impossible for Turkey to accept and understand it.
Despite numerous calls, Demirtaş, as the former co-leader, has never condemned or criticized the PKK, Soylu said.
The Grand Chamber of the Strasbourg-based court has ruled that Demirtaş, who is behind bars since November 2016 on terror charges, should be released immediately as his rights have been violated under five different categories, including freedom of expression and liberty.
Demirtaş, who is charged with terrorism-related offenses, faces a sentence of up to 142 years in prison if convicted of “being the leader of a terrorist organization” over his actions during protests in 2014 that turned violent and led to the death of 37 people.
Minister denies claims on naked body search in prisons
Soylu also responded to recent claims by Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, an HDP lawmaker, that some inmates were subject to naked body searches in prisons. “Those who cast slanders on the Turkish Police Department are inglorious and dishonest if they cannot prove their claims.”
“Gergerlioğlu is a FETÖ terrorist under the disguise of a lawmaker. He shows this with his statements,” he said, slamming other political parties for tagging after the HDP lawmaker.
“I am making an open call to the justice system [to take action against Gergerlioğlu]. This man is really a terrorist. We have filed a number of criminal complaints against him. Whatever is necessary should be done,” he stated.
Soylu recalled that there was a regulation concerning the prisons and doctors were present when the inmates were being searched by law enforcement. He also admitted that a lot of illegal material has been found in these searches, including weapons, and mobile phones.
“[Naked body searches] are out of the question at the police stations but the prisons have their own understanding of security.”