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HomeHeadlinePower Plays in Turkish Politics: The MHP's Grip and Erdoğan's New Strategy

Power Plays in Turkish Politics: The MHP’s Grip and Erdoğan’s New Strategy

While Ankara supposedly shakes under a severe political crisis, it also reveals its vulnerabilities.

Let’s recall the incident: After Süleyman Soylu was removed from the Ministry of Interior, Ayhan Bora Kaplan, considered to be Soylu’s man (from the armed men who went to TRT to support Soylu on the night of July 15), was detained in a rough manner on the way to the airport on September 7, 2023.

Yesterday, it was announced that the police chiefs who conducted this operation were detained.

The issue that led Bahçeli to call it an “attempted coup against the People’s Alliance” on Tuesday is the secret witness in the case trying to add some names from the cabinet to his statement through the suggestion of these police officers. Despite no mention of MHP members in the mentioned statement, Bahçeli’s rage and MHP’s efforts to preserve or reinforce their power in the police and judiciary say otherwise. They want to determine the top management in the police departments of Ankara and Istanbul. Some of these police officers, also troubled by the detentions in the Sinan Ateş murder case, are trying to kill two birds with one stone.


While this clash occurs at the summit, the events contradict the ordinary flow of life.

That is:

For at least 10 years, the ruling partners who made appointments through interview without any exams saying “Ankara Police Department is operating against us!” is foolish. Names close to Erdoğan will be added to the secret witness’s statement, the police will record this, and the prosecutor will take action, right? You can’t even remove the party’s janitor this way! Serdar Sertçelik, referred to as Ayhan Bora Kaplan’s second man for the secret witness. Both a suspect and a secret witness. Such a thing doesn’t exist, but it does in Turkey. Moreover, after the investigation is completed and the indictment is accepted, the police’s job is over. Serdar Sertçelik violated his electronic bracelet nine times. It was overlooked. To the extent that he goes to a nightclub one time, gets involved in a fight, and gets shot. On the ninth violation, he flees abroad. So, did these “operating” police officers grow a heart? What did they rely on to burn themselves? Is it a loss of judgment or something else?


These are the fundamental five questions.

Apart from a weekly group meeting, Bahçeli, who doesn’t show up otherwise, has been active for two weeks now.

Last week he linked the Sinan Ateş murder to the Gülen Movement: “Let’s see whether the legal process will end in Ankara or reach Pennsylvania!”

This week he triggered an operation within the Ankara Police Department by saying, “Don’t mess with our buttermilk. Don’t test our patience!”

Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya’s seat is shaking. He was not called to the crisis meeting at the palace. Although the neighborhood doesn’t find the “coup” rhetoric convincing this time, they can’t speak up.

Like Nasreddin Hodja’s “borrowed kettle” tale, they believed the kettle could breed, now at least they will accept it’s dead.

The country lost a whole ten years: the file on the “17-25 December Bribery and Corruption Investigation,” which Bahçeli turned around when he made a deal with Erdoğan after removing the battery from the office clock and stopping it at 17:25, was well-prepared, and no evidence was ever refuted. The neighborhood, by accepting the “government coup” rhetoric, said, “We won’t side with those trying to redesign the power,” and Erdoğan used this to expand his influence and power area.

July 15th is also the same. It is an operation that completed the presidential system.


The ruling partners marketed the internal power struggle well with the nonsense of “operation against the state.” Nobody dares to say “Get out of here!” out of fear. How could they? A new judicial package targeting “influence agents who seem to favor Turkey but conduct propaganda against it to shape public opinion” is on its way. It’s such a flexible arrangement that a prosecutor with bad intentions could easily have someone arrested for espionage without blinking.


Amidst all this noise, Abdurrahman Şimşek, the news coordinator of Erdoğan’s family media Sabah, stepped forward and made two significant blunders. First, he said that Erdoğan would respond harshly to the operation in the Ankara Police Department at the AKP parliamentary group meeting. Erdoğan didn’t touch on the subject.

Then, he claimed that Ankara Police Intelligence illegally wiretapped 280 politicians and journalists, which the General Directorate of Security denied. This was a first.

While there were talks about “Are there MHP cryptos working in Erdoğan’s media?”… The same person made another claim at night: “Dramatic development in the dirty setup, there is a second secret witness!”

That’s what prompted me to write this headline: Either MHP has taken over Sabah, or Erdoğan is plotting a new game.

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