Ruling People's Alliance partner Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has flipped his rhetoric about the protests against the president's rector appointment to Boğaziçi University, and gone from calling the protesters terrorists to suggesting an open dialogue with them.
Bahçeli on Feb. 3 sent a series of tweets that insulted Boğaziçi University students.
"Those they call students are vandals, barbarians; anyone rejecting the rector appointment should be suspended from the university. Those they call students are blinded by blood and hatred," Bahçeli had said in a series of tweets on Feb. 3 that Twitter banned for hateful content.
Some 20 days later, Bahçeli's rhetoric flipped completely, as the leader said that it's unimaginable that the government would ignore the youth's wishes and abandon them "in chaotic life conditions."
The MHP doesn't segregate younger citizens into X, Y, Z generations, but instead thinks of it as a homogenous Turkish youth, Bahçeli said.
"Without exception, I hold my hands out for all my young brothers and sisters, I salute them all," Bahçeli said. "Say whatever you need to, let's resolve it, but don't get worked up by terrorist organizations at university gates."
The MHP leader's comments about terrorist organizations are an extension of an unsubstantiated narrative parroted by the president and Bahçeli's parties that the protests against the president's rector appointment were somehow organized or sustained by terrorist organizations.
Dubbing their critics "terrorists" is a common move from Ankara major players, with thousands of terrorism charges currently pending for citizens who were affiliated with any opposition group.