PM’s ’fascist’ comment draws wrath of MHP

PM’s ’fascist’ comment draws wrath of MHP

ANKARA - Two main opposition parties yesterday criticized the prime minister for his description of the expulsion of ethnic identities as "fascist," with one nationalist party leader claiming the words were a "curse" on the country’s history.

"The mindset of ( the prime minister) is clear. It’s a typical example of collaborators who questioned the Lausanne Treaty, who signed the Sevres Treaty, who feel sorry for the Independence War success and who curse our history," said Devlet Bahçeli.
"What does he want to achieve by accusing Turkey? We would of course discuss what we did wrong but the duty of the prime minister is to respect the rights of Turkey," Deniz Baykal, leader of the Republican People’s Party, or CHP, told his lawmakers at the parliamentary group meeting.

Erdoğan, at a speech he held over the weekend, referred to the incidents of Sept 6 and 7 in 1955 in Istanbul when many Greek shops and houses were pillaged by crowds after false news reported that Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s house in the Thessaloniki neighborhood of Greece was burnt down. After the riots, many Greeks who were born and lived in Istanbul had to leave the city.

"If he claims something he should do it in a clearer way so that we can discuss it," Baykal stated, arguing that Erdoğan’s purpose was to seem sympathetic to foreigners. "What he does is turn these very sad incidents, which were under very specific conditions, into a matter of accusations. I have never for example heard any intension of the prime minister to raise the issue of 60,000 Greek citizens of Turkish origin residing in Western Thrace who were expatriated [by Greece]," he said.

Bahçeli argued that the prime minister’s statement constituted "a black page" in Erdoğan’s political record.

"If he wants to rake up the past, he should start with those of neighboring countries and imperialistic powers," he said.

Arguing that Erdoğan was insulting Turkish people and its history, Bahçeli asked the prime minister to apologize.

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