MHP’s expelled Akşener contacts Erdogan to defend party figures
Opposition Nationalist Movement Party’s (MHP) recently expelled, former member and chair candidate, Meral Akşener, has contacted President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to defend some 33 names whose detentions were sought as part of a probe into the Gulenists infiltration into the political party, daily Cumhuriyet reported on Sept. 16.
Failing to receive a response to her call to Erdoğan, Akşener sent a fax to his office saying that those whose detentions are sought had no connection with the Fethullahist Terror Organziation (FETO) and that she believed that there must have been a mistake in the warrant issued against them.
Akşener said it was ”worth attention that the names who are arrested were her supporters” in her bid to ascend to the party’s leadership position and that it was “wrong to call the names who are Turkish nationalists as supporters of the FETO and these names were, on the contrary, were fighting against FETO.”
Upon her statements, Erdoğan's office informed Akşener that “the claims against the names were currently being investigated.”
Out of the 33 people sought, police had detained 22 as part of the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s probe. The names included researchers, journalists and academics as well as businessmen.
MHP expelled Akşener from the party on Sept. 8, less than a month after she was referred to disciplinary board along with three members of an emergency convention delegation.
MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli had previously accused Akşener of receiving support from Gülenists – a charge she vehemently denied.