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Kılıçdaroğlu slams silence of AKP, MHP on murder of former Grey Wolves leader

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Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), has criticized the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), for remaining silent after the murder of the former president of the MHP’s youth wing, the Grey Wolves (Ülkü Ocakları), local media reported on Tuesday.

Sinan Ateş, an academic and the former president of the Grey Wolves, was fatally shot in the capital city of Ankara last week. Ateş, who was leaving an apartment in Kızılırmak with a friend when they were attacked by two men on motorcycles, was seriously injured by a bullet to the head and pronounced dead shortly after being taken to a hospital.

Speaking at his party’s group meeting on Tuesday, Kılıçdaroğlu accused President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his far-right ally Devlet Bahçeli, leader of the MHP, of ignoring Ateş’s murder in line with their political calculations.

“An assassination took place in the capital of this country. They killed a young father. … We know a lot, we are aware of how fishy this incident sounds. We’re remaining silent for now so the officials [investigating it] can do their job,” the CHP leader said.

Kılıçdaroğlu added that they wouldn’t allow Erdoğan and Bahçeli, who “doesn’t say a word, as if one of his dearest sons hadn’t been killed,” to remain indifferent to the murder of Ateş.

The Grey Wolves are seen as the paramilitary wing of the MHP, and their ideology is mainly based on Turkish nationalism. Therefore, Kurds, Armenians and other minorities in Turkey have occasionally been their targets.

In 2020 France officially banned the Grey Wolves after a center dedicated to the memory of those who died in the mass killings of Armenians during World War I was defaced with graffiti, including the name of the Grey Wolves.

Earlier last year, the European Parliament called on the European Union and its member states to examine the possibility of adding the Grey Wolves to the EU terrorist list.

In its 2019-2020 report prepared by Turkey rapporteur Nacho Sanchez Amor, the EP voiced concerns about the group, saying it was expanding to worrying levels not only in Turkey but also in EU countries.

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