MHP leader supports Erdoğan on extension of state of emergency
AA photoThe state of emergency should continue until all remnants of the July 15 coup attempt are cleared, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli said Nov. 29, echoing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“The state of emergency should continue until the roots of the July 15 terrorism are eradicated, until terrorist organizations like the PKK [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party] and DEASH [the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] are wiped away from Turkey,” Bahçeli said in a party group meeting in parliament on Nov. 29.
“The extension of the period of the state of emergency is something that government handles. If they think they have accomplished those tasks, they can lift it. But as the MHP, we fully support the state of emergency,” he said.
His comments came after Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım signaled that Turkey’s state of emergency could be lifted before the country votes in a potential referendum on a new charter, while Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş also said the government wanted to see it lifted soon.
Bahçeli said the state of emergency would not affect the voting process of the referendum.
“What is the inconvenience in that?” he asked. “You leave home under a state of emergency, you go to work and continue your daily routines. You can go and vote on the day.”
His remarks came after Erdoğan’s earlier comments on the continuation of the state of emergency.
“The government and parliament could extend the length of the state of emergency. What’s it to you? Does the European Parliament rule this country or the government [of Turkey]? Know your limits! Those days are over,” Erdoğan said Nov. 27 in response to a European Parliament motion to recommend a temporary freeze on ongoing accession negotiations with Turkey.
In the motion, members of the European Parliament strongly condemned the “disproportionate repressive measures” taken by the Turkish government since the July 15 failed coup attempt and said it “violates basic rights and freedoms protected by the Turkish Constitution.”
Turkey could open gates to Europe
“As the European Parliament’s decision cannot pass through Kapıkule [border gate], we have the right to open up the border gates and say whoever comes and whoever goes,” Bahçeli said, reiterating Erdoğan’s earlier comments on the EP vote that suggested Turkey could use refugees as pawns and send them to Europe in retaliation for the vote
“You [EU] did not keep your promises. When 50,000 refugees turned up at the Kapıkule [border gate] you cried out and began to say ‘What will we do when Turkey opens the border gates?’ Look, if you go further, those border gates will be opened. You should know that,” Erdoğan said Nov. 24.
Charter draft to soon come to parliament
As the MHP and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) continue their work on the preparation of a constitutional draft on a presidential system change, Bahçeli said the two parties had agreed to most of the draft other than several points, adding that he anticipated that the draft would soon be on parliament’s agenda.
“Soon, after some disagreements are eliminated, I think the draft will be introduced to parliament,” Bahçeli said, adding that he and Yıldırım would meet to tackle the problems as soon as possible.