ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Devlet Bahceli, the leader of Turkey’s far-right party allied with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, paid a visit on Wednesday to notorious mafia boss Alaattin Cakici who is serving lengthy jail time for scores of murders and organized crime at home and abroad in Europe.
“Our Chairman Mr. Devlet Bahceli visits Alaattin Cakici at Kirikkale Research Hospital where he is receiving treatment,” the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) announced on its official Twitter feed, posting pictures of the meeting.
It provided no detail on what the two discussed at the hospital in the central Anatolian city.
Cakici is a former operator for the Turkish intelligence services and leading member of the Grey Wolves, an organization with a violent past of murders, assassinations, and involvement in massacres against non-Muslim minorities, Alevis, the Kurds, and leftist groups that reached a height in the 1970s.
Among other crimes, he has been convicted of arranging the murder of his ex-wife in front of their child in the mid-1990s.
Bahceli has in an earlier rejected appeal urged Erdogan a general amnesty, as the duo forming a nationalist-religious alliance hope to emerge as victors in next month’s presidential and general elections.
He specifically named Cakici and another mob boss Kursat Yilmaz, saying they should be released because there were also calls for the release of Kurdish politician and a candidate for president, Selahattin Demirtas.
Demirtas is detained for over 18 months now as trials against him of “terrorism and separatism” continue over his speeches and public rallies during his successful leadership of the country’s second-largest opposition bloc Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
The Kurdish leader relayed a response to the public via his lawyers.
“So, it would be better if I was a vicious killer, psychopathic mob leader instead of being the leader of a party that got millions of votes. But no, thankfully I am fine, this way. Don’t worry about nonsense [they talk], my beautiful mother. Kissing you and mothers’ hands,” Demirtas’ Twitter account operated by his lawyers tweeted on Mother’s Day.
Cakici in return sent out threats to Demirtas and HDP’s Co-leader Sezai Temelli who also spoke against the call for amnesty via his “media assistant.”
“Yes, I am a convicted criminal but not a traitor to the homeland,” he said, adding he could block Demirtas from even getting out to the aisle of the prison where authorities keep him.
“I have made a lot of people in this county black out. If you say one more word against Bahceli, I will make you faint, and I will make sure three to five people appear in front of you wherever you go,” he said in words addressed at Temelli.
At a Ramadan dinner after seeing the criminal ringleader, Bahceli defended his visit.
“Five political parties [the opposition] have come together calling for the release of Demirtas,” the leader of MHP said.
“[He] is not as criminal as Selahattin Demirtas. Mr. Alaattin Cakici is known by state officials for his service to this nation and country.”
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany