MHP leader Bahçeli targets Constitutional Court President, associates jailed MP Atalay with PKK

Turkey’s ultra-nationalist government ally MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli has once again targeted Constitutional Court President Arslan for rulings that found rights violation in TİP MP Can Atalay’s imprisonment. “You and those like you are in the cage of PKK law, we are after the law of existence and independence of the Republic of Turkey,” Bahçeli said.

Duvar English

The ultra-nationalist ally of the Turkish government, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli on Jan. 16 once again targeted Constitutional Court (AYM) President Zühtü Arslan. Bahçeli also associated jailed Workers’ Party of Turkey (TİP) deputy Can Atalay with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Speaking at the parliamentary group meeting of his party, Bahçeli said “I would like to ask Mr. Zühtü, who said that there is no justification for not implementing the decisions of the Constitutional Court, do you and other court members who think like you have the courage to explain the reason for the bloodshed of our martyrs and the tears of our wailing mothers?”

Zühtü Arslan on Jan. 12 said that their rulings were “final and binding” constitutionally and it was “not legitimate” to disobey them while commenting on the top appeals court’s refusal to comply with AYM rulings on Atalay.

“You are concerned about the court decision, we are concerned about our beloved country. You and those like you are in the cage of PKK law, we are after the law of existence and independence of the Republic of Turkey. So, as you can see, we are as different as night and day,” Bahçeli said and urged Atalay's deputyship to be striped.

Bahçeli also said “terrorists should not be sought only in the mountains” but also at the Parliament, referring to the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party (DEM), and “state dignity should definitely be activated against them within the limits of the law.”

“In coordination and mutual agreement with Iraq, a ‘Peace Line for Turkey's Security and Future’ should be established in the mountainous region north of Iraq, with a defined duration and a depth of up to 60 kilometers, extending from here to Hatay, and not even a fly should be allowed inside this line,” he added.

Moreover, Bahçeli noted “the strong will of our nation, which is a victim of terrorism and separatism,” should punish the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) at the ballot box for its efforts to cooperate with the DEM Party.

Bahçeli said he hoped “my fellow citizens from Istanbul will not elect (Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu) again, who is a seasonal mayor, who visits the municipality in his spare time, who is busy with plots in politics.”

Constitutional Court rulings regarding TİP MP Can Atalay

The 3rd Criminal Chamber of the Court of Cassation, Turkey's top appeals court, on Jan. 3 dismissed the second Constitutional Court (AYM) ruling that found rights violations in TİP deputy Can Atalay’s imprisonment.

The AYM first on Oct. 25 ruled by a majority of votes that there was a violation of rights in the case of Atalay in terms of "the right to vote and be elected and the right to personal security and liberty."

The 3rd Criminal Chamber of the Court of Cassation on Nov. 8 refused to comply with the AYM ruling. The court also filed a criminal complaint against AYM justices who voted for Atalay’s release, claiming they violated the constitution and exceeded their authority.

Then, the AYM on Dec. 26 released a statement and underscored that the "Court of Cassation has rendered a decision that is not found in Turkish law, stating non-compliance with the Constitutional Court's decision."

The AYM commented that referral of a case within the jurisdiction of the first-instance court to the Court of Cassation, top appeals court, and the latter’s decision disregarding constitutional provisions “clearly constituted a violation of the constitution.”

Atalay received an 18-year prison sentence for allegedly "attempting to overthrow the government of the Republic of Turkey" during the 2013 Gezi Park protests.