MHP lashes out at gov’t, CHP over Kurdish initiative

MHP lashes out at gov’t, CHP over Kurdish initiative

Devlet Bahçeli

July 27, 2009, Monday/ 17:07:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN
Chairman of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahçeli has criticized the government's soon-to-be-announced Kurdish package, introducing less strict control on the public use of Kurdish as well as partial amnesty for members of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), saying the package will divide society.

He also criticized the military as well as the main opposition, the Republican People's party (CHP), for contributing to the government's Kurdish initiative. Speaking at an assembly of his party in the city of Konya on Saturday, Bahçeli recalled that PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, serving life in prison on İmralı Island in the Marmara Sea off the coast of İstanbul, was also planning to announce a list of demands that might lead to a cease-fire with the PKK.

“It is a great misfortune that the president, the prime minister, the main opposition and the İmralı monster are coming together to discuss this issue.” He also criticized Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ for implicitly backing the government's Kurdish package.

Bahçeli also claimed that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was planning to become the next president. Recalling that Erdoğan had earlier promised that he would not run for parliament after 2011, Bahçeli said: “He portrays himself as a martyr; someone who would do whatever is necessary for his nation. This could be appreciated. However, we would also like to hear, in addition to these words, that you will not announce your presidential candidacy in 2011. If you say that, then that is very sincere. If you do not, you are just fooling the nation.” Meanwhile, MHP deputy leader Metin Çobanoğlu, who addressed a provincial party congress in Denizli on Sunday, joined his party's leader in criticizing the government. “You will provoke the MHP if you accept the demands of baby killers [the PKK] under the guise of an initiative or a solution,” he said.

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