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HomeHeadlineTurmoil in Turkish Politics: Behind-the-Scenes at the Erdoğan-Bahçeli Meetings

Turmoil in Turkish Politics: Behind-the-Scenes at the Erdoğan-Bahçeli Meetings

NECIP F. BAHADIR

If the political agenda were weaker, I would have liked to comment on Muazzez Akkaya’s visit to Sezai Karakoç’s grave. I would first ask, ‘Aren’t you too late, Muazzez?’ then I would burst out, ‘Don’t spoil the magic of Mona Rosa, don’t trivialize the matter with gossip!’ And I would briefly tell you the mysterious story of Mona Rosa;

‘Look at my face with resentment, Rosa You haven’t yet heard the songs from me My love doesn’t fit just any tune The most beautiful song is told by a bullet,’ along with these verses.

Or I would have referred to the groundbreaking statements by Sinan Ateş’s wife, Ayşe Hanım. I would have drawn attention to the surveillance incident involving 10,000 people that Ayşe Hanım exposed, developed between MHP manager ‘İsmet Büyükataman, Abdülhamit Gül, and Sinan Ateş,’ and asked, ‘What is this about?’ ‘Is there another commission that the public is unaware of aside from the State of Emergency Commission?’ I would follow up on this question. This is not a trivial matter!

Then I would have liked to write about Ayşe Hanım’s ‘cry for justice’ echoing in the skies of Ankara. Look at these words; ‘I am afraid, if political murders can be committed in the heart of Ankara, anything can be expected from these people. They are not human; they are monsters… They murdered Sinan, and they have started threatening me.’

Ayşe Hanım’s curse burns not only the MHP but also the AKP government and even the state. Indeed, it burns… The fire has reached the attic.

I am writing these lines on Mother’s Day. Screens, news, social media are full of emotional messages about ‘mothers,’ photos of celebrities with their mothers. If I were writing about this topic, I would approach it from a different angle, giving reverse examples, and begging, ‘Remember those without great mothers too, please don’t hurt them too much!’

Your writer has primarily committed himself to commenting on political developments. So, although it doesn’t seem very appealing to me today, I will try to analyze the Erdogan – Bahçeli meeting that happened after an 11-day break. Let me say in advance, I have no backstage information or news snippet, I will ask some questions by looking at the photo. Writing always asks questions and notes history with questions.

MHP caught red-handed in ‘Fire’! This time Bahçeli went to the palace, i.e., to Erdogan. It lasted 15 minutes longer than the first one. No explanation was given about ‘why they met and what they talked about.’ Not surprising. Both parties have a habit of ‘not enlightening’ the public and ‘not informing’ the media! What need did the summit arise from? Frequent meetings in politics are not taken well. On the contrary, they announce ‘crises, troubles.’

What crisis or trouble has brought Erdogan and Bahçeli together in 11 days? The indictment of Sinan Ateş comes to mind immediately. As I mentioned above, in the face of the indictment’s weakness, the family is in rebellion… So is the public. The media is pressing hard on the matter and asking critical questions. Despite so many concrete evidence and statements, the indictment keeps MHP out of the assassination. Is this in favor of MHP or not? It can’t really be said to be in their favor. What the prosecutor didn’t write, the media writes and presents to the public’s knowledge. MHP is overwhelmed by ‘Fire.’ Bahçeli’s MHP is under suspicion.

MHP is silent… ‘Silence is admission!’ Because there is no answer to give. Caught red-handed. What can he say… While Bahçeli was raging against the news in the group, he said, ‘Whoever has information and documents should give them to the prosecutor!’ Which prosecutor? To the prosecutor who wrote this indictment (Mehmet Aykut Cihangir)? Even the prosecutor didn’t include the information and documents he had in the indictment. Bahçeli’s call is futile… And it didn’t disperse the dark clouds over the party. On the contrary, it intensified them.

Could Bahçeli have gone to thank Erdogan for keeping MHP out of the indictment and to express his gratitude? It’s a possibility. But weak… Could he have gone to ‘ask for accountability’ for the photos allegedly leaked from the police report regarding the moment the gunman was ‘kidnapped’ in a car allocated to the Idealist Clubs? This is also a possibility…

Even though the prosecutor’s skill kept MHP out of the indictment, MHP is right in the middle of the assassination. To change the public’s opinion, it must prove otherwise. Bahçeli’s interlocutor is not Erdogan, but the public…

Could the reason for the summit be the meeting he had with Özgür Özel? The MHP leader met with CHP Chairman Özgür Özel during the week. I don’t think this is very likely. No matters concerning the AKP or the government came up in the meeting… Running to Erdogan to report it. Besides, Özel met with Erdogan. Bahçeli’s meeting with Özel cannot be the reason for ‘an urgent and important meeting.’ The reason must be sought elsewhere.

Is Erdogan filing crimes? Just before the meeting, a sensational operation took place at the Ankara Police Department. Three high-level police officers were suspended. The allegations against them are terrible… According to the media, even the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) got involved and is investigating ‘allegations of a political operation’… The Ministry of Interior is the ministry where MHP has the best staffing… Süleyman Soylu works like MHP’s minister in the cabinet. Did the operation touch MHP?

Hours before his meeting with Bahçeli, Erdogan said the following words, which are presumed to refer to ‘MHP’: ‘We will not allow narrow-minded approaches that favor the interests of a certain group over the safety of the country to nest in state institutions, including the judiciary.’

Who is the ‘Certain…’ group the President mentioned? Is this sentence directly addressing MHP? Yes, fingers are pointing at MHP. For AKP, this is a serious matter… They see it as a new ‘December 17-25’ operation.

This matter alone could be the reason for the summit. AKP’s biggest fear is the filing of their crimes… This is Erdogan’s most sensitive issue. He cuts it off as soon as he gets a hint. It’s not unthinkable that MHP is compiling a file on Erdogan? Dark clouds hover over the People’s Alliance. Days when bridges will be burned are not far off. A ‘enough is enough’ outburst is expected from Bahçeli at any moment.

If the topic of the summit is the Ankara operation, then ‘swords have been drawn.’ Neither Erdogan steps back, nor does Bahçeli… The mutual moves don’t stop here. The aftermath definitely follows. Erdogan definitely won’t leave MHP by his side, nor will MHP leave Erdogan… Could AKP be involved in the controversial discussions that put MHP under suspicion over the Sinan Ateş indictment? Did Erdogan set a trap for Bahçeli by keeping MHP out? It’s not said in vain; ‘Istanbul is Byzantium, Ankara is treacherous Byzantium’…

Erdogan, who caught Bahçeli siding with him and sending messages through songs, won’t let go easily.

Ten days ago, Speaker of the Parliament Numan Kurtulmuş started a tour for a new constitution. He met with many parties from DEM to CHP. Until the moment these lines were written, one of the parties that had not given an appointment was MHP. This does not mean that MHP will close its doors to Kurtulmuş. But delaying it for 10 days is a message in itself, isn’t it? MHP’s work on the ‘new constitution’ is known to the public…

Despite this, not inviting Kurtulmuş and making him wait at the door has a meaning. It could be a reflection of the reaction to DEM or the Can Atalay issue, or it could well be considered as an ‘attitude towards AKP and Erdogan.’ The new constitution is more a priority for Erdogan than for Kurtulmuş… Delaying the appointment is definitely a message to Erdogan.

Two summits in 11 days… It reminds of the times of coalition when leaders met to resolve crises. Meetings in politics within short time frames cannot be considered normal. Something is fishy. Both summits indicate serious unresolved issues in the people’s alliance. These are signs of the crisis that is cracking the alliance. What I’m curious about is the extent and intensity of the crisis…

Bahçeli once had a saying; ‘Instead of getting DEM’ed, choosing sweetened water and sipping it bit by bit is the most sensible option.’

MHP’s leader actually likes both tea and water sweetened. But what if AKP – MHP are diabetic? The sipped ‘sweetened water’ can put the alliance into a coma, and there’s no going back. It seems we are rapidly moving towards that point.”

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