Duvar English

A former deputy from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has criticized MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli for calling on breakaway opposition İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener to “return home.”

Cemal Enginyurt said that such a call meant that his efforts to have the dissidents expelled from the MHP back in 2016 were in vain.

Enginyurt, who himself was expelled from the MHP on July 30 following criticism towards Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli, made the comments on Aug. 5 during an interview on journalist’s Hadi Özışık’s YouTube channel.

“I am now thinking. Then why did I swear at friends from İYİ Party? Believe me, I am very saddened about this. Then what kind of a problem did I have with Müsavat Dervişoğlu and Koray Aydın?” Enginyurt said, referring to other former MHP deputies who were also expelled along with Akşener.

İYİ Party was founded in 2017 under the leadership of Akşener, following an internal struggle within the MHP for the party leadership.  

Before their expulsion from the MHP, Akşener and other dissidents held a congress on June 19, 2016. During this congress, 715 delegates voted in favor of an extraordinary session to elect a new party leader.

The aim of this congress was to remove the MHP article that made a leadership change at an extraordinary convention impossible. However, this vote was deemed illegal by Bahçeli, and the court ruled in his favor.

Enginyurt said that it was him that had taken Akşener along with other MHP dissidents to the court regarding the cancellation of the congress.

“When Akşener won the congress with 715 votes on June 19, it was me who took the case to the court. It was me that led to the cancellation of the congress, which they had won. We had the congress which they had won cancelled,” Enginyurt said.

A day later, Enginyurt backtracked on his comments saying that it “was not him who had the congress cancelled,” but that he had just “taken the case to the court.”

“İYİ Party members are in happiness, thinking that Cemal Enginyurt has become a confessor. I have only applied to the court with the complaint that the congress [of June 19, 2016] is a right of extortion,” Enginyurt told Haber Global on Aug. 6.