MHP leader slams Germany, Austria, the Netherlands over cancelation of Turkish ministers’ meetings
AA photoOpposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has slammed Germany, Austria and the Netherlands for their negative stance on Turkish ministers delivering speeches in their countries for the upcoming referendum in Turkey that will decide whether the current parliamentary system should be shifted into an executive presidency.
“It is a right and a must for political parties to inform citizens living in Europe on the April 16 referendum. Why was Germany bothered by this? What is the main reason behind curbing freedom of speech?” Bahçeli said at a parliamentary group meeting of the MHP in Ankara on March 7, as he added that the democratic rights and authorities of ministers and lawmakers had been restricted.
Bahçeli added that if Germany was acting with the insistence and suggestions from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) when banning speeches of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) ministers and lawmakers, then the MHP would regard it as a display of enmity against Turkey.
“If Germany sabotages the meeting of AKP ministers and lawmakers with our citizens with insistence and suggestions from the PKK, then we will see it as an open enmity against Turkey and think that Berlin transferred its will to Kandil,” he said, referring to the Kandil Mountains in northern Iraq, where the PKK’s main headquarters and camps are based.
“It is understood that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s intolerance rose with the will of the political party representatives to meet with our citizens in line with legal rights and boundaries,” he added.
Bahçeli also asked whether Germany placed itself in the naysayers’ camp in the referendum.
“The German Chancellor should retract from its wrongdoing and refrain from steps that would escalate tension,” he said.
Saying that he believes Turkish citizens in Germany will show their reactions and criticisms in democratic means, Bahçeli noted that the Turkish nation is “one against these hostile attitudes and acts.”
“The Turkish state and the Turkish government are not alone. Some 80 million Turkish citizens are in the belief and ambition to defend the Turkish Republic’s rights,” he said.
‘MHP won’t disappear’
Bahçeli also said his party will not disappear after the April 16 referendum, refuting claims that his party would be finished after Turkey votes on constitutional changes.
“Some rancid people are saying that after April 16, the MHP will disappear. Who is teaching these to you shameless people? Who are you getting these ideas from?” Bahçeli said, claiming that some people wanted the party to be brought to an end.
“It is the will and desire of these people, who have lost their sense of shame. The MHP is not mortal, but it is the main vein and artery of Turkishness that is eternal. Thank God, our flag has not been lowered and no vein in us has stopped,” he added.
Turkey will hold a referendum on April 16 to decide whether to change the government system into an executive presidency, giving vastly enhanced powers to the president, or to protect the current parliamentary system.
The “yes” vote is endorsed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the AKP, and the MHP, while the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) are campaigning for a “no” vote.
Bahçeli also slammed dissidents within the MHP, who have announced that they would campaign against the charter changes, saying that the efforts of “the cowards and fugitives who want to destroy the MHP from the inside” would be futile.
He said the people who wished the party would disappear would “be a source of trouble always, and wherever they go, dismissing claims that the MHP would be finished after the referendum.
“The end for the miserable people, whose political years will be over on April 16, is near. It is predestined that they will not be able to stand up again. It is nonsense for those who pledge their ideas to places and allow their consciences to be taken hostage, and to determine a lifelong period for the MHP after they got fired from the party. MHP won’t surrender and bow down,” he said.
Bahçeli vowed that his party will vote “yes” in the upcoming referendum for the “people, the state, the republic, the future of Turkishness, and Turkey.”
“We will say ‘yes’ and we will ruin the victory dreams of these cowards. With ‘yes,’ we will confirm Turkey’s historical rights and interests. ‘Yes’ is an oath and a promise, and we will not change our minds. ‘Yes’ is the Turkish Republic and the symbol of national unity,” he added.
Bahçeli said the “yes” vote will be a blow to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), the PKK, the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) and the “crusaders.”
“A ‘yes’ vote is a lesson to the CHP, who claim they are the party of Mustafa Kemal [Atatürk, founder of modern Turkey], but contradicts its history by remaining silent to the so-called Kurdistan dreams,” he said.