Turkish nationalist leader discharged after 3 weeks in hospital

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Devlet Bahçeli

Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli was discharged from a hospital on Monday where he had been undergoing treatment since Sept. 23 for an upper respiratory tract infection, the Turkish media reported.

Bahçeli, 71, posed for the media at party headquarters in Ankara with a three-day beard and longer-than-usual hair.

Social media users and journalists have been speculating about Bahçeli’s health, with some saying that he is critically ill and will not be able to return to politics.

Bahçeli, who used to be a strong critic of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), made an unexpected U-turn several years ago and became an ally of Erdoğan. The AKP and MHP have run as election allies in the past several elections.

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