Ali Babacan, Turkey's former deputy prime minister and leader of the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA), has said that the Radio and Television High Council (RTÜK) should classify Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) chair Devlet Bahçeli's speeches as R18+ content over severe use of offensive language.
“Our children are at home during the pandemic. It is very wrong that content which will undermine their morals are broadcast. We do not want them to listen to shoutings, yellings. Please have the broadcasts of the junior coalition partner placed under 18+ age content,” Babacan said, referring to Bahçeli's speeches.
Babacan made the comments on Nov. 25 during an opening of his party's branch in the northwestern province of Çanakkale.
“Citizens voted in the elections and chose a president. And the elected president handed over the country to a political party leader who has received 10 percent of the votes. Does national will mean that a political party chair, who received 10 percent of the votes, holds the state captive?” Babacan was quoted as saying by daily Birgün.
Prior to the June 2018 elections, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development (AKP) locked in a “People’s Alliance” with the MHP. On June 24, 2018, the MHP managed to pass the electoral threshold by receiving 11.1 percent of the votes.
“The junior coalition partner is rebuking all politicians. It does not matter if they are from the ruling party or the opposition. You are shouting a lot. They are placing a microphone in front of you so that you do not shout. This country has a world of problems because of you,” Babacan said.
There have been recent reports of cracks within the AKP-MHP alliance, which increased after Bahçeli's defense of a mafia leader who threatened main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
Bahçeli's attack on government critics also came after Erdoğan vowed earlier this month a new era of judicial reforms, after years of growing criticism from opponents at home and allies abroad.
On Nov. 24, Bahçeli slammed the rumors of cracks within the alliance, saying that the MHP and the AKP are together for the history and rights of the Turkish nation and not to seek office.