Nationalist leader defiant in face of election results

Turkish Nationalist Movement Party leader Devlet Bahceli makes first public speech in defiant mood after Justice and Development Party wins majority, his party loses significant votes on Nov. 1 election

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party's leader (MHP) Devlet Bahceli delivers a speech during his party's group meeting at the The Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) in Ankara, capital of Turkey on November 17, 2015

Updated Nov 18, 2015

Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli has made his first public speech in a defiant mood after the incumbent Justice and Development Party (AK Party) won an absolute majority at parliament and his party lost a significant amount votes in the latest Nov. 1 election.

Bahceli said that his party get enough votes to be represented in parliament against all odds, taking 40 deputies, which he compared with the story of legendary Turkish hero Kursad and his 40 followers.

Kursad and all of his 40 Turkish soldiers were killed by Chinese soldiers during their fierce attack on the Chinese palace with the aim of holding the Emperor of that time captive, acccording to the famous legend, which is popularised by famous nationalist author Nihal Atsiz, a source of inspiration for many Turkish nationalists including Alparslan Turkes, the founder and lifelong leader of MHP, and his successor Bahceli.

Bahceli said, “I suggest those who question our judgment and behaviour should look at [that legend]. I wish they could [understand and] pay attention to that nationalist spirit refusing to surrender [under all conditions],” in a speech made during his party group meeting before the first gathering of the Turkish parliament on Nov. 17.

“Thanks to Allah we have not fallen down, but we have stood up,” he added, following the elections.

However, he could not ignore the fact that the outcome of the election was not in favour of his party at all. “I can not claim that the result our party has gotten on Nov. 1 is a success,” he pleaded.

“But I believe with all my heart that we have not been defeated either,” he added.

In the end, he accepted that his party should take lessons not only from the Nov. 1 election but also the June 7 election.

“Whatever the results are it is crystal clear that there has been a certain audience [in the country] to which we have a difficulty to explain our party’s agenda,” the nationalist leader stated.

He still criticises AK Party’s “Resolution Process” concerning the disarmament of the PKK terrorist organisation, describing it as a process of treason.

The “Resolution Process” had been launched by the AK Party governance at the end of 2012 in order to bring a concrete resolution to PKK’s armed struggle.

He repeatedly criticised AK Party leadership and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the appeasement of the outlawed PKK and its imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan by launching the peace process “through them.”

If we were not here, AK Party and PKK would unplug Turkey long ago. If we had not resisted, Erdogan and Ocalan would have made the Republic of Turkey collapse,” he claimed on Oct. 3, before the recent election.

Overall, it seems that Bahceli still could not come to terms with the Nov.1 election results saying that his party could not have sacrificed its principles in order to win the election.

“Shall we look aside to our ideals, and the interests of our country? Or did we put away our past approaching a half century for the sake of power? What do they want from us, the nationalist movement?” he asked.

At the same time, he has assured the nation that they will monitor the upcoming AK Party government on the fulfillment of the pledges which have been given by the party during the campaign period.

Finally, he also promised that MHP will adopt constructive and conciliatory stances towards any policy which it believes will be in the interest of the Turkish people in order to overcome their heavy economic woes.

AK Party won almost half of the nation’s votes, increasing its votes to 49.5 percent on the Nov. 1 snap election, up from the 40.8 percent outcome of the June 7 general election.

Among the 550 seats voted in 85 electoral districts, AK Party gained 317 parliamentarians giving the party a decisive authority to form a single-party government according to the final official results.

With the standing results, main opposition centre-left Republican People’s Party (CHP) collected 25.3 percent of the votes, the MHP had 11.9 percent while Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) had 10.7 percent of the votes.

Following the elections Bahceli claimed that “No results could change the sorrowful picture in which Turkey has been suffering,” in a written statement released by his office.  

TRTWorld and agencies