Ruling AKP urges politicians to be on side of courtesy after Davutoğlu, MHP row

Ruling AKP urges politicians to be on side of courtesy after Davutoğlu, MHP row

ANKARA – Doğan News Agency
Ruling AKP urges politicians to be on side of courtesy after Davutoğlu, MHP row Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy chair and party spokesperson Mahir Ünal said on July 26 that politicians should be on the side of “courtesy” when uttering their criticisms or giving their responses in the face of criticisms following the recent war of words between the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.

“We believe that when politicians utter criticisms or answer criticisms, they should definitely not forget to act courteously. We would have wished Davutoğlu’s criticisms against the MHP chair would have been handled in this frame and the answers [to Davutoğlu] be given in the same way. It is an unacceptable situation for a political criticism to be reciprocated by scorn and insult instead of answering it in a similar manner,” Ünal said in a written statement.

His comments came after Davutoğlu and MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli engaged in a row after former Deputy Prime Minister Tuğrul Türkeş was dismissed from his post in a recent cabinet reshuffle.

When asked about the dismissal of Türkeş from his post in the recent reshuffle, Bahçeli pointed at Davutoğlu as the one responsible for his transfer on July 25.

“Someone who has the measure of Ahmet Davutoğlu should explain this,” Bahçeli said.

Davutoğlu responded to the accusations on July 25 blaming Bahçeli of attempting to change the agenda. 

The former Prime Minister is “trying to harm the image of the MHP in the eyes of the public,” said MHP deputy chair Semih Yalçın following Davutoğlu’s comments.

“MHP chair Devlet Bahçeli, in an evaluation regarding the cabinet reshuffle, has made a reference to our former Prime Minister and chair, Konya deputy Ahmet Davutoğlu. Upon Davutoğlu’s answer and MHP vice chairs’ adverse answers, an unpleasant situation that we do not desire and that does not fit the excellence of politics, has arisen. We know that bringing up issues of the past does not contribute to the country’s positive agenda,” Ünal said on July 26.

“Indeed we, as the AKP, have expressed in every chance our appreciation and gratitude to the MHP for its policy, especially after July 15 [2016], through our chair and president in person [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan]. In the same manner, an approach undertaken by a provincial head and deputy of the Republican People’s Party [CHP], whose many policies we criticize very harshly, regarding our teacher murdered in Tunceli [by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party - PKK] has been appreciated by our chair and president,” Ünal said, referring to a CHP march staged in the eastern province of Tunceli on July 21 to protest the PKK and to commemorate the killed teacher Necmettin Yılmaz.

“Ünal’s attempt to teach us political courtesy is enormously out of line,” said MHP deputy chair Semih Yalçın in a written statement on July 27 following Ünal’s statement.

“Ünal has ignored Davutoğlu’s extraordinary impolite and insulting statement toward our chair Devlet Bahçeli. This is what is unpleasant,” Yalçın said.

Asked on July 27 what he thought about Yalçın’s statements, Türkeş refused to give a statement on the issue. “I will not make a statement on this issue. For once, I will not lower myself down to drunkards’ level. And second, I think my party will defend me for what has been done in that period,” he said, referring to the period when he transferred from the MHP to the AKP government. 

Türkeş had been appointed as deputy prime minister in Davutoğlu’s provisional government in 2015 just after the June 7, 2015, elections, while he was still an MHP lawmaker. He continued in his position in the AKP government after the early elections on Nov. 1.

The appointment was harshly criticized by MHP officials as the negotiations between opposition parties and the AKP over the possible coalition was still ongoing and the MHP, then, had a stance against the ruling party.