President Erdoğan meets wife of assassinated former Grey Wolves head in a possible move to stir relations with MHP

Turkey’s President Erdoğan has met with Ayşe Ateş, the wife of the former Grey Wolves head Sinan Ateş who was assassinated in 2022. Some gov’t-ally MHP and Grey Wolves members were reportedly involved in the assassination.

Duvar English

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on June 11 met with Ayşe Ateş and her children. Ateş is the wife of Sinan Ateş, former head of the ultra-nationalist far-right Grey Wolves connected to the government-ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

The meeting took place in the presidential palace complex in the capital Ankara.

On the same day, Erdoğan also visited the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) headquarters.

The meeting has the potential to stir relations with the MHP as some MHP and Grey Wolves members were reportedly involved in the assassination.

After the meeting Ayşe Ateş released a statement, saying he told the “slanders” made against her and her assassinated husband. “He instructed Justice Minister Yılmaz Tunç to take immediate action to deal with the matter and to take action against these people.”

“In addition, Mr. President said that we should be protected more closely and that everything should be done so that my daughters and I can lead a more social life,” she added.

Ateş said that the meeting meant “a great deal” to them as her daughters “slept well for the first time in a long time.”

“Mr. President's acceptance of me and my daughters is not a success or a victory. Because for us, the real success will be when justice is done and the real victory will be when all the instigators and perpetrators are handcuffed,” she added.

On the same day Erdoğan visited the CHP headquarters and met with Ayşe Ateş, MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli shared a photo of his ring, reading “Allah is sufficient for me.”

The assassination of Sinan Ateş

Ateş, former Grey Wolves head, was assassinated by two people on a motorcycle while leaving a building on Dec. 30, 2022, in the capital Ankara.

He was the head of Grey Wolves, a group of far-right ultra-nationalist Turks known as “Ülkü Ocakları” in Turkish, between 2019 and 2020. He became the head of Grey Wolves upon MHP leader Bahçeli’s instruction.

Ateş resigned from his duty on April 2, 2020 at the request of Bahçeli and started working as an academic at Hacettepe University, Department of History.

Some of Ateş’s family members claimed that he was murdered within the knowledge of MHP officials.