NGOs say MHP head Bahçeli not welcome in Tunceli

NGOs say MHP head Bahçeli not welcome in Tunceli

TUNCELİ, ELAZIĞ – Doğan News Agency
NGOs say MHP head Bahçeli not welcome in Tunceli

MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli (C) visited the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri on Nov. 27, ahead of his visit to Tunceli. DHA photo

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli is set to pay a visit to the eastern province of Tunceli on Nov. 28, but a number of NGOs have reacted negatively to the intended visit, declaring Bahçeli unwelcome in the city. 

Some 30 Alevi organizations, including NGOs working in Turkey and Europe, announced that the MHP head was not welcome in the city, describing the visit as an act of “provocation.” 

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu had challenged Bahçeli to go to Tunceli “if he had the courage to do so” at his party’s parliamentary group meeting on Nov. 25. 

Bahçeli had earlier slammed Davutoğlu’s recent visit to Tunceli, claiming that he had engaged in “treason” for expressing condolences for the victims of a massacre, otherwise known as the “Dersim massacre” (Dersim is the historic name for Tunceli), in the 1930s.

The association operating the cemevi (Alevi place of worship) that Bahçeli is scheduled to visit in Tunceli has issued a statement saying they will not consider hosting Bahçeli. 

“We are not considering hosting Bahçeli in either our association or our cemevi, because he is coming to Tunceli only to challenge Davutoğlu’s words. We know his thoughts about the Dersim events. He can only enter this venue’s door if he apologizes for what he said about the 1937-1938 massacre,” read the statement. 

Meanwhile, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) provincial head Fatma Kalsen said they attributed the term “traitor” to Bahçeli himself, after he used the term for their ancestors.