— MedyaNews (@medyanews_) October 25, 2023
Devlet Bahçeli, a nationalist Turkish leader, caused a stir in Turkish politics and among commentators when he subtly hinted at possible Turkish involvement in recent attacks on US bases in the Middle East, during an address on Tuesday.
Previously on Saturday, Bahçeli called for immediate Turkish intervention in Gaza if a ceasefire wasn’t achieved within 24 hours. His call resonates with a portion of the Turkish public concerned about ongoing Gaza violence. However, some analysts see a task-sharing arrangement between coalition partners, with MHP voicing frustrations aligning with public sentiments, while Erdoğan’s party maintains a nuanced stance in order to safeguard relations with Israel.
Responding to accusations of insincerity, Bahçeli made veiled yet bold remarks, interpreted by some, especially his applauding party group, as hinting at Turkish involvement in the recent Middle East attacks on US bases. He said: “24 hours have passed. The Republic of Turkey should be ready and determined for any intervention and struggle to foster a climate of peace and resolution, and establish a guarantor mechanism for the sake of humanity. We do not step back. Those American lackeys who equate the 24 hours to American local time and ask us “24 hours have passed, what will you do now”! At what time did Biden [interrupt the press conference and] go to the resting office [The Situation Room, White House intelligence centre]?”
Bahçeli’s remarks came as President Biden abruptly paused a press briefing on Monday due to urgent undisclosed matters. Since Wednesday, several attacks have targeted three military bases housing US troops in Iraq, posted in the region as part of the international coalition against ISIS.
It’s noteworthy that a cautious editorial stance was observed among Turkish news media outlets in reporting Bahçeli’s address. Highlighting the sensitive nature of the implications within Bahçeli’s remarks, specific phrases hinting at possible Turkish involvement were altered or omitted across various publications, diluting the covert reference.