Opposition defends Ankara Mayor after Turkish far-right leader's threats

Turkey's opposition parties have blasted MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli's threats against Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş, with İYİ Party leader Meral Akşener saying that Yavaş has the backing of them and the people of Ankara.

Duvar English 

Turkey's opposition parties have blasted far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli for threatening Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş, with Good (İYİ) Party leader Meral Akşener stressing that the mayor has the backing of them and the people of Ankara. 

Bahçeli on Nov. 30 threatened Yavaş after blaming him for an attack on an event last week.

"Mr. Mansur should be careful. The breath of the Grey Wolves is now on his back," he said, referring to a group of far-right ultra-nationalist Turks. 

A day later, Akşener responded to Bahçeli, saying that he is threatening an official whose only concern is to serve the people of Ankara.

"Mansur Yavaş has the backing of us and the people of Ankara," Akşener said during a parliamentary group meeting of her party on Dec. 1. 

Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also slammed Bahçeli, saying that he is saddened by what Bahçeli has come to. 

"Yavaş is a mayor who stays away from political rows. It's incomprehensible that he was blamed for the attack," Kılıçdaroğlu said on Dec. 1. 

Bahçeli's accusation and threat came after supporters of the MHP attacked a commemoration ceremony held for the party's founder in Ankara on the weekend.

A group of some 50 Grey Wolves members raided the event that was held to commemorate Alparslan Türkeş by the Alparslan Türkeş Foundation in the Yenimahalle district on Nov. 28. Several people were wounded as a result.

It's common for the paramilitaries of the MHP to attack critics of their party, since they enjoy impunity. The Grey Wolves are banned in several European countries due to their constant attacks.

MHP Ankara provincial chief Turgay Baştuğ was accused of instigating the attack on the Türkeş commemoration with a social media post he shared a day before the event.

In a series of tweets, Baştuğ slammed the speakers of the event for "betraying" Türkeş. He also slammed one of the speakers for continuing his political career at the İYİ Party. 

"The Grey Wolves members will never accept those who betrayed Türkeş and our leader Devlet Bahçeli to commemorate Alparslan Türkeş," Baştuğ said.

Kılıçdaroğlu on Dec. 1 also said that Bahçeli should have sacked those who raided the event. 

Yavaş, meanwhile, said that he won't respond to political comments concerning him. 

"I will continue to work for the people of Ankara," he said.