Umut Erdem – Hürriyet / Istanbul, May 8 () - Turkey’s High Election Board (YSK) is under the influence of President Tayyip Erdoğan and, like him, is not impartial ahead of the June 7 general election, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has said, after the YSK rejected claims that Erdoğan was breaching the president’s constitutional impartiality.
“The YSK is living inside the aquarium of Erdoğan. All that it breaths is Erdoğan” Bahçeli told a group of journalists in the Ilgaz town of the Central Anatolian province of Çankırı on May 6.
Commenting on the board’s recent decision to reject claims that Erdoğan has been breaching the constitution by supporting the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in his recent speeches, Bahçeli said no one but Erdoğan could describe those speeches as impartial.
“So the YSK and Erdoğan have become identical” he said, adding that those responsible would be “held to account in the future.”
Meanwhile, Bahçeli pledged that his party will turn Ak Saray, the much-debated new presidential palace in Ankara supported by Erodğan, into a museum to the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
All opposition parties have formulated different ideas for the controversial 1,150-room palace, with the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) vowing to donate it to Ankara’s prestigious Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ).
MHP head Bahçeli also criticized Erdoğan’s use of religious discourse in his public rallies.
He said that netting more than half of the votes, as Erdoğan did in Turkey’s presidential election on Aug. 10 last year, did not give anyone the right to exploit the state for political goals.
The AKP’s Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek also received his share of Bahçeli’s criticism, after Gökçek recently hit headlines for bizarrely decorating the Turkish capital with a number of huge dinosaur statues.
“There is already a dinosaur ruling the Turkish Republic” Bahçeli said, implying Erdoğan.