Opposition MHP leader backs Erdoğan on ongoing crisis with Germany
ANKARANationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has lent strong support to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the ongoing crisis with Germany, saying he would personally accompany the president in the event he decides to stage a rally in Germany.
“If Mr. President decides to go to Europe, he is not alone in his decision. As the MHP leader, I would come to Europe along with him,” Bahçeli said in an interview on Habertürk TV on March 6.
“I am with the president of the Republic of Turkey to present a new ‘Turkish spirit’ in Europe, which is an important part of the Turkish world,” Bahçeli said, adding that there were “4 million Turks living in Europe.”
His comments came after relations between the two countries lurched further into crisis after the cancellation of government members’ meetings with Turkish citizens in Germany ahead of the April 16 referendum on implementing an executive presidential system in Turkey.
Turkey reacted harshly against the cancellations and summoned the German ambassador to the Foreign Ministry in Ankara to express its disturbance.
Erdoğan slammed Germany for inflaming the tension, saying, “I will go if I want to.”
“If you do not let me in, or restrain me from giving a speech, then I will stir up the world,” Erdoğan threatened on March 6.
Erdoğan’s earlier comments that liken Germany’s measures to the Nazi period raised tensions between the two countries. Turkish and German ministers also spoke on the phone on March 4 in an effort to find a way to solve the problem, which occurred after Turkey detained and arrested a German-Turkish journalist, Deniz Yücel, on an alleged “terrorism” charges.
Meanwhile, presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın thanked Bahçeli for his support for the president.
“Mr. Bahçeli has once again showed the whole world his noble and national stance with his statement,” Kalın tweeted.