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AKP and MHP should merge through Catholic wedding: HDP AKP and MHP should merge through Catholic wedding: HDP Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) spokesperson Ayhan Bilgen has blasted Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli’s support for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, saying the two parties “should merge through a Catholic wedding.” “We don’t know who is walking in whose footsteps in presidential calculations. But from the messages we hear we can conclude that they [the AKP and the MHP] love each other. If they want they could solemnize a Catholic wedding, so they will never separate again,” Bilgen said on Jan. 9 in a weekly address to the HDP’s parliamentary group. “The two of them are so alike. They are very much alike in issues of democracy, the state of law, and discriminatory measures,” he added. Bilgen’s remarks came after longtime MHP head Bahçeli said his party would support Erdoğan in the upcoming presidential election due in 2019. The HDP spokesman blasted the MHP for prioritizing political self-interest over the more important issue of Turkey’s democratic decline. “There are people whose only agenda is how many MPs they can win in the 2019 [elections] … But the journalists, academics and politicians in jail were not interested in wearing tuxedos. They simply wanted to do something for their country and are now paying the price for drawing attention to the dangers that it is facing,” he said. Bilgen also noted that five HDP lawmakers were convicted in the space of just one week, after Leyla Birlik, Sebahat Tuncel, Adem Geveri, Nursel Aydoğan and İdris Baluken were sentenced last week on terror-related charges.
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