Türkeş did not trust MHP leader, letter reveals

Alparslan Türkeş, the most revered political figure for Turkey's nationalists and the chairman of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) until his death in 1997, once advised his son not to trust Devlet Bahçeli, the current MHP leader, Turkish newspapers re

Türkeş did not trust MHP leader, letter reveals
According to reports published in various Turkish newspapers on Friday, Türkeş wrote a letter to his son Tuğrul Türkeş, warning him and MHP supporters not to trust Bahçeli, for "he works for the MİT," Turkey's national intelligence agency.

The daily Yeni Şafak said the letter was brought up by a nationalist Web site that opposes the current administration of the MHP.

The daily also quoted Tuğrul Türkeş as saying, "I have heard of that letter, but I've never seen it." However, he confirmed that the handwriting was that of his father.

Yeni Şafak also suggested that Muharrem Şemsek and Tuğrul Türkeş, two MHP members known for their cold stance to Bahçeli's administration of the party, were listed in the top places in candidacy lists for Sunday's election, since the MHP leader wanted to rule out the possibility of vocal opposition inside the party. Şemsek had earlier accused Bahçeli of "having come to destroy the MHP" and of being a MİT member.

The reports come two days ahead of Turkey's general elections, in which Bahçeli's MHP is expected to make a comeback in a sign of growing frustration with separatist terrorism as well as skepticism about Turkey's bid to join the European Union.

Opinion polls indicate the party is likely to return to Parliament after a five-year absence and could become the third-largest group of lawmakers.

Polls suggest that the MHP could emerge as a key player in any effort to form a coalition. Bahçeli, a former lecturer in economics, took control of the party in 1997 and ousted radicals, restraining the street fighting of young party members.

Battles in the 1970s between leftists and the Gray Wolves, an organization that Bahçeli helped form as a student in the 1960s and which acts as the party's youth wing, killed around 5,000 people and prompted the military to seize power in 1980 to restore control. Mehmet Ali Ağca, the gunman who wounded Pope John Paul II in 1981, was a Gray Wolf.

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Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Temmuz 2007, 11:47