Opposition leader Bahçeli calls PM Erdoğan's quarrel with chief of bars’ union ‘sham fight’
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli speaks during a parliamentary group meeting in Ankara May 13. AA PhotoNationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has reprimanded both the prime minister and the president of the country’s union of bar associations for a recent public quarrel.
In his message, Bahçeli denounced the row as a sham, which he argued proved once more that both Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s psychological condition and manners ruled him out as a prospective candidate for the presidency.
“Turkey has long been held under the monopoly of an understanding of anti-democratic governance,” Bahçeli said May 13, noting that the unpleasant scenes observed over the weekend when Erdoğan interrupted a speech in Ankara by Metin Feyzioğlu, chairman of the Turkish Union of Bars Association (TBB), was the latest example of such an understanding, which completely ignores customary practices and state protocol.
“Crying bloody murder by interfering in the final minutes of Feyzioğlu’s speech is nothing but the staging of a rotten and dated pre-designed play,” Bahçeli said and suggested the incident was a “scandal,” whether impromptu or not.
“Under normal conditions, the Prime Minister should have listened to the speaker with common sense and maturity,” he said, recalling how Erdoğan instead became furious and attempted to use the occasion as “an opportunity to dominate the agenda in his favor.”
“If the prime minister is in a mindset that is now stimulating him to directly interfere with speakers, then we advise him to get his nerves checked, and if possible, to take a rest,” he said.
Bahçeli, however, also criticized Feyzioğlu for his provocations. “The president of the bar association exploited the democratic right given to him, testing people’s patience. Ceremonies are not the time to give political lessons,” the MHP leader said.
The incident on May 10 took place at a ceremony marking the 146th anniversary of foundation of the Council of State.
Feyzioğlu had called for a more independent judiciary and questioned the government’s handling of the aftermath of a 2011 earthquake that killed more than 600 people in the eastern province of Van.
“You are speaking falsehoods ... How could there be such rudeness?” Erdogan shouted and stood up to gesticulate in anger at Feyzioğlu as he was finishing his remarks at the event.
ECHR ruling ‘revenge’ for Turkey’s 1974 intervention
Bahçeli also said a May 12 ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ordering Turkey to pay 90 million euros to Greek Cyprus for its 1974 intervention and the island’s subsequent division is “revenge.”
“This is an attempt to avenge the Cyprus landing, which took place 40 years ago,” Bahçeli said, condemning the ruling and calling on the government to reject the ruling. “As a warning, I declare that if needed, the 1974 spirit will rise again for the fair cause of Turkish Cypriots.”