Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), has slammed Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi for calling President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a dictator, stressing the Turkish history has never created leaders like “Duce” or “Führer.”
“Italy’s inept and rookie prime minister has slandered Mr. President as a dictator. This accusation is vindictive and impertinent slander. Those who are looking for a dictator should look at their own history,” Bahçeli told his parliamentary group on April 13.
Draghi, at a press conference last week, called Erdoğan a “dictator” after the visits by top EU leaders to Ankara, where an internal row between European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel surfaced.
Bahçeli lashed out at Draghi for going too far and described him as a secret admirer of former Italy’s Benito Mussolini, one of the longest-reigning fascist dictators of Europe in the first half of the 20th century.
“Fortunately, we neither had a Duce, a Führer, a pharaoh, or a Franco in our history nor the remnants of Nazi or the Blackshirts,” Bahçeli said, referring to a fascist paramilitary group which was active until the end of the Second World War.
On Michel and Leyen’s visit, Bahçeli said their talks in Ankara were shadowed due to a fake protocol crisis that stemmed from a lack of coordination between the two European institutions.
“Our country has been unfairly accused,” he said, underlining that Turkey knows all the protocol rules and to whom these rules would be implemented.
On a growing tension between Ukraine and Russia, the MHP leader called both countries for common sense and to avoid further escalation.
Hurriyet Daily News