Erdoğan, Bahçeli seen for the first time in public since virus outbreak

President Erdoğan and MHP leader Bahçeli have stepped out in the public eye for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak. The two leaders took a ferry from Istanbul to Democracy and Freedom Island, also known as Yassıada, for an inauguration ceremony.

Duvar English

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli were on May 27 seen in the public for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak. The two leaders took a ferry to the Democracy and Freedom Island near Istanbul for an inauguration ceremony.

They were photographed with their masks on, but at one point Erdoğan was seen taking a break by putting the mask under his chin.

This picture was shared by MHP's official Twitter account with the following statement: “Our Chair Devlet Bahçeli and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are traveling together to attend the inauguration ceremony of 'Democracy and Freedom Island.'”

The two leaders were accompanied by Parliamentary Speaker Mustafa Şentop, Vice President Fuat Oktay, Parliamentary Deputy Speaker Celal Adan, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmaker Binali Yıldırım and former Parliamentary Speaker İsmail Kahraman during their ferry ride.

Yassıada, one of the Princes' Islands located in the Sea of Marmara southeast of Istanbul, was renamed Democracy and Freedom Island in 2013.

Theisland is where former Prime Minister Adnan Menderes, along withleading Democratic Party (DP) members, were arrested after the May27, 1960 coup and later jailed and tried.

Menderesand his two ministers, Fatin Rüştü Zorlu and Hasan Polatkan, werethree of the 15 politicians sentenced to death at the trials held onYassıada. While the rest were pardoned, the three politicians'executions were carried out on the nearby İmralı Island.

On May 27, Erdoğan, Bahçeli and the accompanying delegation visited the museums on the island telling of the events that led to Menderes' execution.

Erdoğan and Bahçeli are seen watching a documentary at a museum on the island.