Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has targeted the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) once again after the latter last month refused to back a motion that extended troop deployment in Iraq and Syria.
“The CHP has said 'no' to struggle against terrorists who have been firing bullets to our soldiers, laying an ambush to our police officers. This party, which is a security problem [of Turkey], has made its choice from satan,” Bahçeli said on Nov. 9 during his party's parliamentary group meeting.
Once again accusing the CHP of having links to terrorism, Bahçeli also targeted the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in his remarks. He said that the CHP had “turned into a puppet of the HDP” and had “fallen into the hands of” the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
“A point has been reached such that [CHP leader Kemal] Kılıçdaroğlu's direction has gone astray all together and all his ways have opened up to Qandil,” Bahçeli said, in reference to the PKK's headquarters in northern Iraq.
In a rare move that prompted surprise in Turkey's political scene, the CHP on Oct. 26 refused to back a motion extending troop deployment in Iraq and Syria for two more years. The motion was ratified with the votes of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), MHP and İYİ (Good) Party.
Bahçeli also touched upon Kılıçdaroğlu's Nov. 5-dated letter sent to all ambassadors in Turkey, urging them not to support the controversial Kanal Istanbul project.
Deeming the letter a “political crisis,” Bahçeli said: “It will go down in history as the November 5 scandal. I am sure that Kılıçdaroğlu is an enslaved politician.”
Bahçeli went further by claiming that Kılıçdaroğlu's letter was a sign of him “having a desire of spying.” “What is the mentality that has seized you, that has chained you? Confess so that we can help you and hold your hands,” Bahçeli said.
Amid a dwindling support for the government, it is a common tactic of Bahçeli as well as his ally President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to accuse the opposition of having links to terrorism or “foreign powers,” in an attempt to attract nationalist votes.