Far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has targeted Workers' Party of Turkey (TİP) deputy Ahmet Şık for calling Turkey "a killer state," as he called for the removal of his deputyship.
Şık, also a journalist, said that the Turkish state is a killer and needs to be destroyed, prompting the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office to launch an investigation into the lawmaker.
Bahçeli on June 8 slammed Şık for deeming the state as such and called him "a traitor who breathes the same air with us in parliament."
"Aren't we going to hand this traitor to justice after stripping him of his parliamentary status? Can you imagine, such a vile person is breathing the same air with us in parliament. This degenerate man who calls the state a killer benefits from all opportunities of the state and gets his salary from the treasury," Bahçeli told MHP members in a parliamentary group meeting.
He also said that Şık is "encouraged" by the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).
"This criminal who is encouraged by HDP members should know that if the Turkish state was a killer, you would be in a grave rather than parliament," Bahçeli said.
"We can't tolerate these despicable types," he added.
Şık, on his part, remained defiant in the face of the investigation and the politicians' comments against him.
"If I am to be criticized/tried for calling the state a killer, it should be done so because I said less," he said, calling the state "a serial killer" this time.
"There is no state that doesn't have blood on its hands," he added.
Devlet katil sözlerim nedeniyle eleştirileceksem/yargılanacaksam eksik tespit yaptığım için bu olmalı.— ahmet şık (@sahmetsahmet) June 7, 2021
Çünkü devlet seri cinayetler işleten bir katildir.
Hiçbir devlet yoktur ki elinde kan olmasın. https://t.co/jof8xfRDFq
During his speech, Bahçeli also reiterated his call for the HDP's closure a day after a prosecutor resubmitted an indictment to the Constitutional Court for its closure.
The far-right leader said the Constitutional Court does not have the option to return the indictment a second time.
"This bloody and dark page should be closed never to be opened," he said.
HDP says closure case is 'political operation'
The HDP on June 8 said that a closure case against it for alleged ties to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) was a "political operation."
The case was initially sent back from the Constitutional Court in March on procedural grounds for lack of details.
The prosecutor's move in March was the culmination of a years-long crackdown on the HDP, parliament's third-largest party, under which thousands of its members were tried on mainly terrorism charges.
HDP co-chair Pervin Buldan said the judiciary should investigate recent allegations of corruption among top government officials rather than open a case against her party.
"We can see the pit that the judiciary has fallen into," Buldan said, speaking to members of her party.
"The judiciary that cannot, does not come down on crime organizations has become a shield for the mafia order once again by launching a closure case against the HDP," she added.
Turkey has a long history of shutting down political parties seen as a threat and has in the past banned a series of other pro-Kurdish parties.
The latest indictment demanded a political ban on some 500 party members and a block on HDP's bank accounts, down from over 600 in the previous indictment.
In a written statement, the prosecutor said the HDP committed crimes against the independence of the state and its unbreakable unity with its country and people.