Osmaniye residents resentful at MHP chair Bahçeli for not opening up his unused house

Residents of MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli’s hometown Osmaniye, one of the provinces hit by last week’s major earthquakes, are resentful at the politician for not opening his house for the use of earthquake victims. Bahçeli has not yet visited Osmaniye since two major earthquakes struck the region on Feb. 6.  

Duvar English

Residents of southern Osmaniye, one of the 11 provinces hit by last week’s major earthquakes, are resentful towards Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli for not even having visited his hometown since the disaster and for not opening his house in the province, according to reporting by Deutsche Welle’s Turkish service.

Bahçeli’s hometown Osmaniye has seen widespread destruction due to the Feb. 6-dated earthquakes. The politician's house “Devlet Bey Konağı” ( Mr. Devlet’s Mansion) has not been affected by the disaster, with residents waiting for him to open it up to victims. It was built in the place of the house in which Bahçeli was born. The mansion is currently used by the MHP leader when he visits the province.

One of the residents, a mother of three whose house collapsed in the quakes, said that Bahçeli had not even visited the province since the earthquakes. The woman known by initials only T.E. said, “I have lost 21 people in Osmaniye. Who will give an account of this? Bahçeli has not even come to Osmaniye to wish people ‘Recover soon.’ Everyone is kissing up to us during voting times. After this hour, no more votes for the (ruling Justice and Development Party) AKP and MHP. If they have left us to death, there is no vote for them in this country. I have voted for them once, and now I regret it.”

Another local named İlyas is resentful that “Devlet Bey Konağı” is not being opened up for the locals who are in immediate need of housing. “It (mansion) is the safest place here but they have not opened it. We are not asking for inside the house, but we mean the garden. Even if they have taken the children inside the garden during rainy days, it would even be sufficient for us,” he said.

According to locals, special operations police are on the watch at the mansion since the first day of the Feb. 6-dated earthquakes.

On Feb. 14, Bahçeli had responded to the criticism of not visiting quake-stricken provinces by saying: “I followed the developments from Ankara in order not to interfere with the rescue efforts. We are not after show and exploitation like others.” Bahçeli also argued that he would start his visits soon.