Turkey’s nationalist party leader referred to the Kurdish MPs as “pests” and called for the total extermination of Kurdish “terrorists” in a parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday, intensifying the already heated political atmosphere in Turkey.
Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, suggested stopping the salaries and state funding of 57 MPs from the country’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party), redirecting these resources towards counter-terrorism efforts and supporting families of terrorism victims. More provocatively, he referred to these Kurdish MPs as “pests”, calling for their immediate trial on terrorism-related charges based on “concrete evidence”.
The MHP leader’s rhetoric extended to advocating for the total extermination of Kurdish “terrorists”, a statement that starkly contrasts with international human rights norms and principles and signifies an alarming escalation in the already tense relationship between Turkish nationalist factions and the Kurdish minority.
Additionally, Bahçeli proposed a radical restructuring or abolition of the Constitutional Court, criticising its functioning, priorities and handling of cases, and subtly associating them with the latest Turkish losses against the Kurdish guerrilla.
Bahçeli also targeted international actors, accusing the United States, Israel and various European and Middle Eastern countries of complicity in these recent attacks that resulted in the deaths of Turkish soldiers. He described these nations as abettors of terrorism and terrorism-related activities.
Furthermore, Bahçeli made threatening remarks towards Özgür Özel, leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), warning him of potential consequences for not aligning his views. He accused the CHP of being under the control of enemies of Turkey, calling this a significant risk to the country.