Erdogan ally says Turkey's governing coalition strong despite critics

FILE PHOTO: Devlet Bahceli, leader of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), gestures as he attends his election rally in Ankara, Turkey June 23, 2018. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov/File Photo

ANKARA (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan's nationalist ally pledged his loyalty to their government coalition on Tuesday and dismissed media speculation about cracks in the alliance amid a recent reform push as "incomprehensible dirty rumours".

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli's attack on government critics came after Erdogan vowed earlier this month a new era of judicial reforms, after years of growing criticism from opponents at home and allies abroad.

The MHP has attracted criticism from opposition parties in recent days while several newspaper reports have suggested there were problems in their alliance with Erdogan's AK Party (AKP).

In a speech to MHP lawmakers in parliament, Bahceli said "cowards, plotters and swindlers" were targeting the so-called People's Alliance between his party and the AKP.

"The People's Alliance is Turkey's only hope, its only guarantee against the world," he said. "Our relationship with our president is so consistent, balanced, uncalculating, unplanned, principled, and based on mutual respect that enemy heads cannot understand."

Bahceli also described as a "terror lover" a former top government figure who called last week for the release of two high-profile prisoners charged separately after a failed coup in 2016: a Kurdish political leader and a philanthropist.

Former deputy prime minister Bulent Arinc had called for the release of the two, Selahattin Demirtas and Osman Kavala, after Erdogan last week promised judicial reforms would come in the new year.

The comments by Arinc - a member of the Presidency's High Advisory Board - had raised expectations that Erdogan's AKP was intent on burnishing its approach to the rule of law, which opposition parties and Western allies say is influenced by politics.

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is also expected to toughen bilateral ties with Turkey.

But Bahceli on Tuesday slammed the comments by Arinc, after Erdogan himself dismissed them on Sunday.

(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Jonathan Spicer and Alexandra Hudson)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 18
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Did you find this article insightful?


Next In World

Revamped White House website features hidden message for coders
Moderna says it believes vaccine will work against new variants
Farmers mass in Indian capital ahead of Republic Day protests
Google offers facilities for US vaccination sites
Urgent: U.S. Senate approves Yellen's nomination as treasury secretary
Roundup: Italy reports over 8,500 new COVID-19 cases as vaccination continues
Roundup: California lifts regional stay-at-home order for all regions
AstraZeneca denies report vaccine less effective in elderly
1st LD Writethru: Canada's COVID-19 cases surpass 750,000
Merkel, Biden agree in phone call to strengthen transatlantic cooperation

Stories You'll Enjoy