Turkish Nationalist Leader Bahçeli Visit Hot Kurdish Alevite Tunceli Today
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader ahçeli canceled a planned visit to a local cemevi and a city tour in the predominantly Alevi province of Tunceli amid protests.
Bahçeli gave a speech in front of the governor’s office, recalling the remarks of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who had challenged Bahçeli that he would not be able to reiterate his arguments on the “Dersim debate,” referring to the historic name of Tunceli, if met directly with residents of the province.
“Here I am in Tunceli. I am with the distinguished descents of the Turkish nation,” the MHP leader said.
Bahçeli said there is nothing good about bringing what happened in the past to the present. Bahçeli described the incidents in 1937-1938 in Tunceli as a “riot,” adding that a legitimate state is supposed to defeat the dangers against it.
Security was tight in Tunceli due to Bahçeli’s visit. Police reinforcements were dispatched to Tunceli from 10 provinces and all government personnel leaves were canceled. Police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse a group of demonstrators who attempted to march to the governor’s office building to protest Bahçeli’s visit. Protesters also clashed with the police in Tunceli city center.