Ultra-nationalist leader denies involvement in assassination

Ultra-nationalist leader denies involvement in assassination
A+ A-
MHP leader Bahceli, who met with biggest mafia bosses several times in his offices in 2022, has also reacted to accusations that his party is allied with mafia.

After remaining silent for more than a week over the assassination of former Grey Wolves leader Sinan Ates, the chair of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) made his first remarks on the deadly incident, which according to many may be the result of internal strife within MHP and instigated by MHP officials.

Without mentioning the name of the victim, Bahceli said in his address to MHP's parliamentary group on Tuesday:

"Immediately after the bloody attack, MHP has been targeted by accusations in a coordinated attack which seems to be launched on the instructions of a specific center (...) All FETO [Turkish authorities' label for Gulenist movement] supporters launched a fresh insurgency against our party by means of perception manipulation. They at once tried to cast the shadow of the murder over MHP. They constantly voiced claims that it is about a fight over internal conflicts."

He continued:

"The groundless allegations against us, filled with fabricated reports and accusations, have been handed to opposition parties, particularly CHP [main opposition Republican People's Party], to terrorists, separatists, globalists, to cosmopolitans bereft of identity, to certified opponents of the state and nation, and a political climate and atmosphere of abuse has been created to let those step forth for the issue, just like they act like the spokespersons of criminal organizations (...) Our deputies and officials have been shamelessly implicated. The Hearst of Idealists [official name for Grey Wolves] has been encircled by a treacherous siege."

Bahceli's remarks came three days after MHP official Ufuk Kokturk, who is among the suspects in the assassination case, told the prosecution that he had transferred money to a Dogukan Cep, the alleged instigator of the assassination. It has also been recently exposed that Kokturk was earlier convicted for murdering a high school student, and was released on probation after serving for four and a half years.

Another suspect Tolgahan Demirbas, a former official of the Grey Wolves, was arrested in an apartment that reportedly belongs to MHP deputy Olcay Kilavuz. Kilavuz, who was with Demirbas during the police raid, tried to stop the police, without success.

Bahceli also reacted to accusations that MHP is allied with mafia, saying:

"Idealists [Grey Wolves] cannot be mafia, and mafia cannot be idealists [Grey Wolves]."

Turkey's biggest mafia boss Alaattin Cakici had visited Bahceli at his offices in late August 2022, saying later on Twitter, "I visited my Chairman in the offices of our party."

Earlier, Bahçeli had said in November 2020 that Cakici is a comrade of his who had fought for the same cause.

Another mafia boss Kursad Yilmaz had visited Bahceli in MHP's headquarters in May 2021 to present him a gift, a sword, then called him in his Twitter post, "My leader, my red line."

Kursad was listed in a recent police report as the head of one of the influential organized crime networks in Turkey, with 58 mobsters under his command. Cakici, was ranked first with 428 men in his command.