A significant number of Turkey’s far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) members have shared their applications for resigning from their party on social media following a controversial murder on 30 December.
Sinan Ateş, the former head of the Grey Wolves Organisation, the militant wing of the MHP, died at hospital after he was shot by someone travelling on a motorcycle while leaving his apartment in the Turkish capital of Ankara.
The resignations from the MHP are interpreted as a reaction against the MHP’s and the government’s silence over Ateş’s murder. The opposition parties, on the other hand, shared statements after his death, calling on authorities to uncover all details of the attack.
Ateş resigned from his position in the Grey Wolves in 2020, citing his academic studies as an excuse. The former leader of the militant organisation supported Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of the MHP, when a group led by Meral Akşener left the party and established the rival Good Party in 2017.
However, it was known that Ateş had problems with the new leadership of the Grey Wolves and he had shared photos of himself with some Good Party members, which according to some was a sign hinting at a change in his political position.
The Turkish police announced after the murder that three people had been taken into custody. The police later said in a statement that Emrecan Ç., who was presented in the Turkish opposition media as the main suspect, had no relation to the murder.