Nationalist leader firm on ‘threatening’ words

Nationalist leader firm on ‘threatening’ words

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Nationalist leader firm on ‘threatening’ words

'Everybody will see what we will risk when the time comes,’ Bahçeli says. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

A quarrel between the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) intensified today, with both parties’ leaders harshly criticizing each other over the ongoing peace process. MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli stood behind his words that hinted at a call to nationalists to show the “necessary reaction when the right time comes.”

During a rally in the northwestern province of Bursa over the weekend, Bahçeli answered MHP supporters’ slogans of “We will attack and we will die if you say so,” saying, “Don’t worry, that time will come.”

Speaking at his party’s parliamentary group meeting, Bahçeli said: “I stand behind all my words. Everybody will see what we will do and what we will risk when the time comes, all should know that. Traitorous intentions will fail unless the MHP is surpassed,” Bahçeli said.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, for his part, severely denounced Bahçeli, saying that such remarks did not suit a person who holds such political responsibility.

“How can you [Bahçeli] say that, ‘The time to attack and the time to kill will come,’ while this country needs mutual trust, solidarity and peace?,” Erdoğan said. “This language, this manner, this politics is not in favor of the goodness of this nation. This is purely provocative and aims at dividing it. The reason is obvious. When terror is over, they will lose their essence of being.”

Everyone in Turkey is very hopeful of the process except for the chairpersons of the opposition parties, Erdoğan said. “They have taken advantage of the democracy deficit, military coups, and unlawful practices for decades. They appeared to be against terror, but they engorged themselves with terror. We have closed the democracy deficit. We struggled against military coups and unlawful practices. Now we are close to putting an end to terror. But they are not happy with it,” Erdoğan said.

The premier also criticized the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leadership, which slammed recent police raids against trade unions as part of an investigation into the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C). Recalling that operations were conducted as part of an investigation into two attacks against the AKP headquarters and the Justice Ministry on March 18, Erdoğan said: “Our security forces cannot remain silent against those attacks. What is necessary will be done.”

Also addressing the international support given to terror organizations, Erdoğan said they would do whatever necessary to turn a spotlight on those countries’ assistance to such groups using the democratic norms of the international system.

“We’ll put them to shame in international organizations,” he said, adding that militants had been trained in camps in such countries.