Turkey debates 'dishonorable, whisky-drinking rich people' amid MHP-HDP row

Turkey debates 'dishonorable, whisky-drinking rich people' amid MHP-HDP row

Turkey debates dishonorable, whisky-drinking rich people amid MHP-HDP row

CİHAN photo

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has started a new fight with the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), criticizing the “dishonorable, whisky-drinking rich people” who voted for the HDP instead of the MHP.

“Those poor people who carried the HDP to the Parliament [and] those dishonorable people sipping their whiskies in their seaside residences along the Bosphorus… Now go and form a coalition with the HDP,” Bahceli told his party in a weekend address, daily Hürriyet reported.

The Turkish term for “dishonorable” (şerefsiz) carries a weight bordering on the vulgar that does not exist in English.

Bahçeli slammed rich segments of the society for casting their votes to the HDP juts to stop the Justice and Development Party (AKP) from gaining a parliamentary majority. 

Selahattin Demirtaş, a co-chair of the HDP, responded to Bahçeli’s remarks on Aug. 3. “The HDP is Istanbul’s third party. The HDP garnered more votes than the Turkish nationalists who cannot even speak proper Turkish. The HDP collected votes from the poorest districts of Istanbul. That’s how it became the third party,” Demirtaş said. 

“Needless to say; rich people have probably also voted for the HDP. All of our voters are respectable for us. To those who insult our electors, I return these insults tit-for-tat,” he added.   

Recalling that Bahçeli promised his voters that he would go after “thieves” before elections in reference to massive corruption and graft claims surrounding senior AKP officials, Demirtaş said, “They shouldn’t be using the word honor; they should know their place.”