Erdoğan ally Bahçeli dismisses rumors of cracks within People's Alliance, says it remains strong

MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli has said that the People's Alliance it formed with the AKP remains strong and that it's the hope of Turkey. "It's not a failed alliance and was not built on political negotiations," he said, dismissing rumors that there are cracks within the alliance.

Duvar English 

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has dismissed criticism that there are cracks within the People's Alliance that it formed with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), saying that it will continue. 

"This alliance was not built on political negotiations. Our relationship with our president is so consistent, balanced, uncalculating, unplanned, principled, and based on mutual respect that enemy heads cannot understand," Bahçeli told members of his party during a weekly parliamentary group meeting on Nov. 24. 

"Those who want to introduce disagreements between us should look for somewhere else to do so. The People's Alliance is Turkey's only hope and its guarantee against the world," he said, adding that "cowards, plotters and swindlers" were targeting the People's Alliance.

Bahçeli also said that the alliance is not one that's based on "theft, chaos and failure." 

His remarks came after reports of cracks within the 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 President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vowed earlier this month a new era of judicial reforms, after years of growing criticism from opponents at home and allies abroad.

Slamming the rumors of cracks within the alliance, Bahçeli said the MHP and the AKP are together for the history and rights of the Turkish nation and not to seek office. 

According to the MHP leader, the biggest reform in Turkey was made when the country switched to the executive presidential system. 

"The People's Alliance will live and bring reforms to life one after the other. The executive presidential system will be the architect of the Turkish nation's future," he said. 

Bahçeli defends mafia leader Çakıcı's threats once again 

Turning to Çakıcı's threats against Kılıçdaroğlu, Bahçeli said that the mafia leader is his friend and that no "ülkücü," meaning a member of the ultra-nationalist Turk group, can be deemed "mafia." 

"No mafia can be ülkücü and no ülkücü can be mafia," he said, adding that Çakıcı "served the country." 

Kılıçdaroğlu was threatened by Çakıcı on Nov. 17 after the former criticized the government for allowing the release of “mafia leaders and drug traffickers" in an amnesty law in April.

Çakıcı was released from prison on April 16 as part of the law that was drafted by the People's Alliance. Journalists and political prisoners were excluded from the government's amnesty law.

Çakıcı's release had been a long-term project for Bahçeli. Shortly after calling for a general amnesty on May 12, 2018, Bahçeli had paid a visit to Çakıcı in prison, who he deemed “a lover of the nation.”

Çakıcı released a statement on Twitter on Nov. 17 telling Kılıçdaroğlu to “watch his step.” “If you put Bahçeli in the same pot as traitors, you would be making the mistake of your life,” Çakıcı wrote.

While the CHP leader on Nov. 18 filed a complaint against Çakıcı, the mafia leader responded to the main opposition head with yet another threat.

"Get Bahçeli's name out of your mouth, you couldn't even add up to his balls," Çakıcı said in a new open letter.

"Rather than speaking like a woman, get me killed if you have the guts," Çakıcı added.

Later in the day, Bahçeli, a very close friend of the mafia leader, came to Çakıcı's support and defended his threatening letter.

On Nov. 24, Bahçeli said that the main opposition leader should "look at the terrorists it cooperates with" in response to Kılıçdaroğlu's remarks on Çakıcı being a mafia leader. 

"Isn't Demirtaş the real mafia and a member of the underground world?" he asked, referring to Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) former co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş. 

Demirtaş has been in prison since Nov. 4, 2016 on charges related to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) despite the immediate release ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). 

"Alaattin Çakıcı and his friends have fought against the terrorist groups that organized assassinations against the Turkish state. They went after the ASALA terror group that martyred our 31 diplomats," Bahçeli said. 

Bahçeli also said that the MHP expects a summary of proceedings to be submitted to parliament against Kılıçdaroğlu.