Turkey, Politics

Turkey: Shutdown of 'criminal' opposition party urged

HDP same as PKK terror group, it is a criminal organization in political disguise, says leader of Nationalist Movement Party

Emin Avundukluoglu   | 18.03.2021
Turkey: Shutdown of 'criminal' opposition party urged

ANKARA

The leader of Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on Thursday voiced support for efforts to shut down the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

“The HDP is a criminal organization in political disguise. Its closure, without it being allowed to reopen under another name, is a duty of honor to history, justice, our nation, and future generations,” Devlet Bahceli told his party’s 13th Ordinary Grand Congress in the capital Ankara.

His remarks came a day after Turkey’s top prosecutor filed an indictment seeking the dissolution of the HDP, calling it an undemocratic party that colludes with the PKK terrorist group and seeks to destroy the unity of the state.

Bahceli said the indictment was “the voice of law and justice” and had “put the minds of our entire nation at rest.”

“The HDP is the [terrorist] PKK, a murderer and a death trap for innocent children, young people, and women.”

The move follows growing calls by Turkish political leaders for the HDP to be officially closed down. In recent years, more and more HDP executives and elected officials have been charged with terrorism-related offenses.

Turkish leaders have long argued that the HDP is little more than a front for the terrorist PKK.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.

‘No snap polls’

The MHP leader also brushed aside rumors of possible snap elections in Turkey ahead of 2023, when they are due to be held.

“The elections will be held on time. Turkey will not deviate from this path,” Bahceli said.

He reaffirmed that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be their presidential candidate in 2023.

During the congress, Bahceli was unanimously reelected MHP chairman, by all 1,277 party delegates, and Erdogan later telephoned Bahceli to congratulate him.

As the People’s Alliance, we will continue to develop Turkey with the responsibilities that we have taken in a historic time, said Erdogan, referring to the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party-MHP alliance, formed ahead of June 2018 general elections.

Bahceli, a lawmaker from the southern Osmaniye province, has served as MHP chairman since 1997.

The AK Party has also consistently denied rumors of early elections.

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