Opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has accused Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of wanton misconduct while in office for being lenient on those who took bribes and misused funds while ruthlessly confronting the police force and judiciary, who were trying to do their jobs, saying such behavior by Erdoğan can be explained by the corruption and embezzlement allegations reaching him and his family members.
Addressing an audience of party members during a weekly group meeting on Tuesday, Bahçeli argued that Erdoğan and his government have obstructed the judiciary and legal enforcers and have thus committed a crime by preventing the detention of suspects. Mentioning the government's hurried removals and reassignments of thousands of police chiefs and officers as well as some prosecutors, Bahçeli said such a display of power and exploitation of authority can only be seen in tribal societies. “Guilt-ridden, Erdoğan contravened the law and has railed against jurists,” he said.
Bahçeli claimed that the corruption probe on Dec. 17 marked the start of the government's demise. In particular, Erdoğan's modifications to the laws and regulations one after another to impede the judiciary in order to escape the deepening of the graft dragnet is a clear act of misconduct.
He lashed out at Erdoğan for his attempts to explain the corruption probe as a conspiracy by external powers that aim to prevent Turkey from becoming a global actor with its strong economy. “His brakes have failed so badly that he has been tirelessly narrating the story that a global assassination and a foreign-oriented assault have been initiated against him, his government and the national will for the last three weeks. So to put it this way, everything is a plot, everything is a trap and everyone is under the influence of the domestic subcontractors of the external forces. That means, corruption is a lie and bribes are baseless stories. … To us, Erdoğan has been transfixed by illusions, stuck with lies and has lost his mind. He believes or has been made to believe in unreal chimeras, artificial threats and groundless fears. Erdoğan is deceiving both himself and the nation,” Bahçeli argued.
He claimed that Erdoğan's real purpose is to divert attention away from the corruption allegations and weather the storm. Bahçeli called on the prime minister to stop hiding the truth and answer the serious questions put forth with evidence from the corruption and bribery investigation.
The efforts to change laws to allow a retrial of the convicts in the Ergenekon and Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup cases, which may open the door for the retrial of suspects in thousands of other cases, including the match-rigging and Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) cases, are not what the country needs at the moment, Bahçeli said.
Referring to the words of Erdoğan's chief advisor, Yalçın Akdoğan, in his column in a national newspaper two weeks ago that a “plot had been hatched against the military,” after which the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) applied to the prosecution office demanding a retrial of the aforementioned coup cases, Bahçeli said the first step that needs to be taken is to find and try these plotters. He said a retrial and a possible release of the convicts after seven years in prison will not be a remedy for them, nor will it save Erdoğan and the plotters from their responsibilities.