Leader of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahçeli has expressed his strong support for the continuation of a state of emergency known as OHAL, which was declared in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016, describing the continuation of OHAL “a national obligation.”
“OHAL does not end, it cannot end and it should not end,” Bahçeli said at his party’s parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday.
The emergency rule was declared for three months on July 20, 2016. It was extended for another three months on Oct. 19, 2016, Jan.19, 2017, April 19, 2017, July 21, 2017, Oct.16 2017 and Jan.18, 2018.
Under the emergency rule, the government has pressed ahead with many controversial decrees that have the force of the law and are not required to be approved by Parliament. In line with these decrees, thousands of people have been purged from state bodies on coup charges.
MHP leader Bahçeli is being criticized for strongly supporting Erdoğan’s controversial policies which are said to weaken rule of law in the country.
He has already made an election alliance with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for the 2019 general and presidential elections.
The MHP will not field a presidential candidate but will instead support Erdoğan’s candidacy.
In his speech on Tuesday, Bahçeli also said he will not allow the “alliance of the people” with the AKP to be weakened.
“In the 2019 March [local] elections, we will use a careful language and a sensitive discourse. We will never be diverted from our main target. We will continue with the very reasonable attitude against the AKP which is based on understanding and reconciliation. We do not want a road accident,” said Bahçeli.