MHP’s Bahçeli slams CHP over HDP arrests

MHP’s Bahçeli slams CHP over HDP arrests

MHP’s Bahçeli slams CHP over HDP arrests

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Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has slammed the Republican People’s Party (CHP) for criticizing the arrest of the co-leaders and 10 lawmakers from the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), arguing that such criticism is tantamount to lending support to terrorism. 

“As the party that boasts about founding the republic, the CHP’s leading of a campaign [to criticize the arrest of HDP MPs] and mobilization for these separatist traitors have passed into our political history as a black stain,” Bahçeli told a parliamentary group on Nov 8. 

Bahçeli’s tone against the social democrat party toughened after the CHP issued a written statement on Nov. 6 that criticized the government for the increased undemocratic measures that also included the arrests of HDP lawmakers and writers of daily Cumhuriyet. 

Bahçeli claimed the CHP’s reaction to the arrests would have no reflection on the people’s conscience. 
Reiterating his party’s strong-worded stance against the HDP, Bahçeli stressed once again that “being elected does not grant anybody the right to aid and abet terrorism.” “Hiding behind the democratic regime while aiming to demolish the constitutional system and taking the betrayal of democracy as a guide cannot be regarded as legitimate,” he added. 

Noting the constitutional amendment that lifted the immunity of parliamentarians in June, Bahçeli said the arrest of the HDP deputies was required by law. “It is a fundamental duty of the state to bring the ones who do not acknowledge the law before the law,” he said.

Bahçeli also commented on the HDP’s decision to withdraw from the legislative process in parliament. “The decision of the extension of the PKK [the Kurdistan Workers’ Party] to suspend the legislative process is their own business. Parliament is on duty,” he said. “Nobody will mourn the decision by the tools of terror to stage a boycott.”

‘MHP will act to annul HDP lawmaker’s duties’

With the HDP’s withdrawal from legislative activities in parliament in protest at the government’s draconian policies, their status as parliamentarians could soon be annulled. According to the parliamentary bylaw, if a lawmaker misses legislative meetings for five days in one month, their annulation process will begin, following a parliamentary vote. The HDP holds 59 seats in parliament, and according to Turkish law, if 28 seats go empty, early elections should be held.

Bahçeli was asked about the MHP’s possible stance in such a vote if it is discussed in the parliament. His response was covert.

“We will follow the developments and act on whatever necessary,” he told reporters.

He was also asked about the content of a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Nov. 3. “There were assessments on topics of Iraq and Syria and particularly on foreign policy,” he said.