Turkish far-right Erdoğan-ally slams opposition over COVID-19 efforts

Devlet Bahçeli, leader of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and silent coalition partner to Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), blasted the main opposition party for its pandemic aid campaigns.

The Republican People’s Party (CHP) will “be buried beneath its efforts to form a parallel state,” Bahçeli said, echoing AKP Deputy Chairman Mahir Ünal’s comments on Sunday accusing CHP municipalities of “forming a parallel state” for distributing bread during the weekend lockdown.

“It is an eclipse of the mind that the CHP leader desires to put a spoke in the wheel when the government has risen with all its resources and capabilities against COVID-19,” news site T24 quoted Bahçeli as saying.

Turkey’s Interior Ministry earlier this month launched criminal probes against the CHP mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem İmamoğlu, and Ankara, Mansur Yavaş, over their municipal aid drives during the outbreak.

Forming “parallel states” has been at the base of the AKP government’s accusations against Turkey’s Kurdish politicians, starting with the massive anti-terror trials in 2009, and continued in charges against followers of Fethullah Gülen, an Islamic cleric who Turkey accuses of having placed persons loyal to him in key positions over the years, and masterminded the failed coup attempt of July 15, 2016.