Bahceli tries to save face claiming foiled plots to sink MHP

Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, Bahceli rebuffed recent calls for a new leader made by disgruntled deputies after the party managed to attract only 11.6 percent of the vote in the Nov. 1 election. This result allowed the MHP to get only 40 deputies, compared to the June election when the party got 80 deputies.

Bahceli claimed that some people were plotting against him but said he did not care. “Do they [plotters] not know that no palace attack, no devilish urge, no global scenario can or will stand in the way of a real nationalist-idealist?”

“To those who thought we [the MHP] would give up, the gathering here today of 40 valiant idealists is the strongest message,” he told his deputies.

Admitting that the results of Nov. 1 “are not a success,” Bahceli tried to save face claiming that he “sincerely felt” that the election results were not a failure. “I thank our respected citizens who supported us and stayed with us; [steadfast] like a rock, despite the slander and destructive propaganda [directed towards us],” he said.

Rumors are widespread of some members within the MHP planning to bring forward Meral Aksener, former deputy speaker of Parliament, as a candidate for party chair in an early congress against Bahceli.

According to reports in the Sozcu daily recently, some MHP delegates are planning to get the signatures of at least 249 out of 1,200 delegates to gather for an early party congress according to its bylaws.

Bahceli’s exclusion of Aksener, who was also a former interior minister, was expected as Bahceli had not nominated her in the election for Parliament speaker following the June 7 general election.

When asked about Aksener’s probable candidacy for speaker by a reporter in June, Bahceli had replied angrily: “I think she lost [the opportunity to be a candidate]; she has even lost the post of MHP parliamentary group chair.”

Bahceli had already replied to questions regarding whether he would resign from his post after the election on Nov. 1 in a series of tweets from his official Twitter account saying that he would not be stepping down as the MHP’s chairman.

Underlining that he would sacrifice himself for the survival of the Turkish nation, Bahceli said, “I would give my head but not take a step back.” Bahceli also noted in his tweets that he won’t bow before the impositions of the government and will continue to say “no” to its policies in tackling the Kurdish issue.

Bahceli asked how it was that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) had won the support of nearly 4.8 million voters in the space of five months. Bahceli added that he thought the people who voted for other parties instead of the MHP did so reluctantly.

Stating that Turkey has lived through many shameful events between the June 7 election and the snap election on Nov. 1, Bahceli commented on the terror attacks and how the attacks swayed the public’s mood in favor of the AK Party.

“From June 7 to Nov. 1, Turkey has been stuck in spiral of hate speech and treason,” he said, indicating that the environment of uncertainty had benefited the AK Party.

Bahceli pointed to the Silvan district in Diyarbakır province where a 12-day curfew was implemented until recently. Tragedy and devastation followed the lifting of a 12-day curfew in Silvan, where intense clashes left some homes severely damaged and others entirely destroyed.

Minutes after the curfew was lifted at 2 p.m. on Saturday, hundreds of people who were displaced and blocked from entering the neighborhoods of Konak, Tekel and Mescit for nearly two weeks came rushing back to see what remained of their homes.

Intense clashes that began on Nov. 3 between security forces and the Patriotic Revolutionist Youth Movement (YDG-H) — an affiliate of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) — forced hundreds of families to flee their homes in the curfew zone.

This latest curfew was the sixth time that Silvan has been effectively paralyzed in the past three months, and it is not expected to be the last. Curfews like these have become the norm in the predominately Kurdish-populated southeastern region of Turkey, where the areas of Cizre and Nusaybin are currently under lockdown.