Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, whose party is facing problems due to the release of sex tapes involving several party members, refused to resign and announced on Wednesday that he will not accept resignations from MHP politicians in the wake of threats to release more video tapes featuring other MHP politicians.
A group released the names of six more politicians of the MHP yesterday, saying it will release sex videos and video recordings of some of their conversations if they do not resign. The group, which calls itself Farklı Ülkücülük (Different Idealism), said earlier this week in a letter published on its website that MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli has until 10 a.m. on May 18 to resign. “We are giving you a final warning. We do not want to release tapes that we have in our possession,” the letter said, warning that the videos released so far are only “the tip of the iceberg.” On Wednesday, Bahçeli refused to resign, calling instead on the group to "made public what they have in their hands." "We will not yield to threats and blackmail," he said.
“I am at the helm of the party as chairman. Others are as well. No one will resign from now on. And even if they do, I will not accept their resignation,” he noted. Leaving aside what it called “immorality,” the letter said the group had recordings of conversations between Bahçeli’s top aides. “All hell will break loose if we release these recordings. You will see then what a tape means. Don’t force us to do so,” read the letter.
Hours before the deadline set for Bahçeli to resign, the group published a new message and announced the names of those featuring in the sex videos in its possession. The names include four MHP deputy chairmen as well as the party’s secretary-general and a member of the party’s Presidency Council. The group is targeting MHP Deputy Chairmen Mehmet Ekici, Osman Çakır, Ümit Şafak and Ahmet Deniz Bölükbaşı, MHP Secretary-General Cihan Paçacı and MHP Presidency Council member Mehmet Taytak. The group threatened to release the sex videos of all in addition to video recordings of Taytak and Bölükbaşı during party meetings.
“If those who are mentioned above resign from both their posts in the party and their deputy candidacy, we promise not to publish these videos. However, we are announcing to the public that we will publish the videos if they fail to resign,” the group said on its website early on Wednesday.
“We need a clean administration for a clean society and clean politics. For a clean administration, we need our party to be cleaned of all corrupt people that hold high administrative positions,” the group also said.
Deputy Chairman Ekici, also refused to resign in initial comments on the group’s threat. “This is a conspiracy against me. I am not planning to resign,” Ekici told the Anatolia news agency hours after the group published its statement.
Çakır, another deputy chairman, termed the allegations about video tapes an effort to defame and damage the party.
Hamit Kocabey, a lawyer representing the MHP, also made a statement to the press on Wednesday to respond to the group’s move and continued to accuse businessman Faruk Bayındır, a member of the municipal council of İstanbul’s Küçükçekmece Municipality from the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), of the “plot” against the MHP. He showed a statement indicating purchases undertaken with a credit card by the businessman for the past five months. He alleged that the businessman is financing the farkliulkuculuk.com website.
The lawyer added that he had submitted all the documents the MHP has regarding the case to the Ankara Prosecutor’s Office early on Wednesday.
The group earlier published sex tapes involving MHP politicians Recai Yıldırım, Metin Çobanoğlu, Bülent Didinmez and İhsan Barutçu, which resulted in their resignation from their posts. The Ankara Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday opened an investigation into the website on suspicion of blackmail.
Meanwhile, a photograph of an automobile recently made public by MHP leader Bahçeli, who said the vehicle has been hanging around the MHP headquarters in Ankara and that they fear it is being used for the illegal wiretapping of conversations in the MHP building, was taken from a German website selling used cars and photoshopped to include a Turkish license plate, investigators have found.
News reports said on Wednesday that police found the photo of the black Chrysler minivan, shown by the MHP leader in a television appearance earlier this week, belongs to an automobile for sale in Germany. Investigators reached the original photograph through a photo identification system. They discovered that the photo of the automobile, which Bahçeli termed suspicious, was identical to an automobile posted on the German website www.automobile.de, except for the license plate. According to reports, a Turkish license plate was pasted on the car using computer software.
Bahçeli had announced that the photo was taken by MHP officials in front of the party headquarters. There are claims that Bahçeli was also told the photograph may be fake but he ignored this information and showed it publicly on the television program. Arguing that the automobile has a fake license plate, Bahçeli asked the government to shed light on the suspicious vehicle.
On Wednesday, MHP lawyer Kocabey refuted claims that Bahçeli was deceived by the photo of the “suspicious vehicle,” as he noted that the photo of the vehicle was a “representative sample.” Kocabey also reiterated allegations that the “suspicious automobile” was hanging around MHP party headquarters.
MHP leader to hold surprise election rally in Diyarbakır
MHP leader Bahçeli has decided to go to the southeastern province of Diyarbakır to hold an election rally in the run-up to the June 12 general elections. Bahçeli who has been drawing criticism from Prime Minister Erdoğan for his failure to “go beyond Gavurdağı” [a mountain in the southern province of Adana], announced in remarks that appeared in the HaberTürk daily on Wednesday that he would travel to Diyarbakır on June 6.
When asked whether he would deliver a different message in the predominantly Kurdish province, Bahçeli replied: “Of course, we will say something there but we are always singing the same song. What I will say in Diyarbakır will be the same as what I say in Ankara.” Bahçeli’s latest visit to the province was in 2000 to attend the inauguration of some facilities as deputy prime minister.