MHP leader Bahçeli claims opposition politician organized armed attack on himself

MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli has claimed that opposition politician Selçuk Özdağ organized an attack on himself and that the MHP is not responsible for it. According to Bahçeli, Özdağ made himself get attacked to be on the country's agenda.

Duvar English 

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has claimed that opposition Future Party deputy leader Selçuk Özdağ organized the armed attack that he was subjected to on Jan. 15 on himself. 

The attack, which raised tensions in Ankara, is believed to have been carried out by members of the Gray Wolves - a far-right ultranationalist group that's the militant wing of the MHP.

In addition to Özdağ, journalist Orhan Uğuroğlu and lawyer Afşin Hatipoğlu were also subjected to attacks on the same day. 

Bahçeli on Jan. 26 denied the accusations that the MHP was responsible for the attacks.

"It's a cheap provocation to make it seem like we are a part of an attack that we're not a party to," Bahçeli told MHP members in a parliamentary group meeting. 

"Those who organize attacks on themselves should not look far to find the crime and the criminal," he said. 

The MHP leader also claimed that Özdağ installed security cameras on his balcony prior to the attack in order to capture it. 

"It's a well-known trick," he said. 

Right after the armed attack on Özdağ, MHP deputy leader Semih Yalçın added fuel to the fire by saying that the Ülkücü movement - the Gray Wolves - have a lot of lunatics within them, in a veiled confirmation that the attacks were carried out by the group.

"This movement has a lot of lunatics within it. They don't listen to orders," Yalçın, who has previously called the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) "a flock of insects that needs to be killed," told a pro-government journalist on Jan. 16.

The fact that the attack on Özdağ took place a couple of days after he criticized the MHP and engaged in a row with Yalçın is chilling, considering the notorious past of the MHP and Gray Wolves. The group has killed leftists, Kurds, Alevis and minority groups in Turkey in the past, often acting as a force of the state. The group was recently banned in France following attacks on Armenians in the country.

Following Bahçeli's remarks on Jan. 26, Özdağ said that he will file a complaint against the MHP leader. 

"They should not make fun of the people's minds. Bahçeli needs to prove his claims or else he is a slanderer," Özdağ told Duvar, as he once again called on Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül to find the perpetrators.