Devlet Bahçeli

Devlet Bahçeli (born 1 January 1948) is a Turkish politician, economist, former Deputy Prime Minister, and chairman of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).[1] He has been the leader of the MHP since the death of its founder Alparslan Türkeş in July 1997.

Devlet Bahçeli
Devlet Bahçeli ve Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (cropped).jpg
Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey
In office
28 May 1999 – 18 November 2002
Prime MinisterBülent Ecevit
Served withHüsamettin Özkan
Şükrü Sina Gürel
Cumhur Ersümer
Mesut Yılmaz
Preceded byHikmet Uluğbay
Succeeded byAbdüllatif Şener
Leader of the Nationalist Movement Party
Assumed office
6 July 1997
Preceded byAlparslan Türkeş
Member of the Grand National Assembly
Assumed office
22 July 2007
ConstituencyOsmaniye (2007, 2011, June 2015, Nov 2015, 2018)
In office
19 April 1999 – 18 November 2002
ConstituencyOsmaniye (1999)
Personal details
Born (1948-01-01) 1 January 1948 (age 73)
Bahçe, Osmaniye, Turkey
Political party Nationalist Movement Party (MHP)
Alma materGazi University
ProfessionEconomist, academic

An academic in economics at Gazi University in Ankara until 1987, Bahçeli served as Deputy Prime Minister in the coalition government of Bülent Ecevit (1999–2002). Elected in the province of Osmaniye,[2] he has been an MP in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey since 2007.[3] A schism occurred in his party in 2016, which resulted in Meral Akşener leaving the MHP and founding the İYİ Party.

Bahçeli is a major player in Turkey's current government. Since the 2018 general elections his party has supported Erdoğan's cabinet with confidence and supply in the Grand National Assembly. Bahçeli has been described as kingmaker in Turkish politics.[4][5]

Education and work

Born in the rural district of Bahçe in the province of Osmaniye, Bahçeli also attended primary school there.[6] Turkish sources have stated that Bahçeli is of Armenian ancestry, in spite of his fervently anti-Armenian views.[7] He moved to Istanbul for his secondary education. Bahçeli received his higher education from the scientific academy in Ankara and his doctorate from Gazi University in Ankara. Bahçeli served as a lecturer for economics at Gazi University before entering political life in 1987.

Political career

In 1987, Devlet Bahçeli became a member of the board of the Nationalist Working Party [tr] (MÇP), which was officially renamed the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) during a congress on 24 January 1993. Following the death on 5 April 1997 of the founder and leader, Alparslan Türkeş, he became on 6 July 1997 the second chairman of the MHP. From 1999 to 2002, Bahçeli served as a Deputy Prime Minister in the coalition government (DSP-ANAP-MHP) of Bülent Ecevit. Following the MHP's expulsion from the parliament when it couldn't pass the electoral threshold in 2002, Bahçeli resigned his chairmanship, but was reelected in the party's 2003 congress.

In the 2007 general elections, Devlet Bahçeli led the MHP list in the province of Osmaniye. His parliamentary list polled 44.90% (99,565 votes) and won two of the four provincial seats.[8]

In the 2011 general elections, he led the MHP list in the province of Osmaniye. His parliamentary list polled 41.22% (110,708 votes) and won two of the four provincial seats.[9]

In the 2018 general elections, he joined with the AKP and Recep Tayyip Erdogan's presidential campaign.


He made his most famous speech in 2009 which is the 40th anniversary of Nationalist Movement Party. The English translation is "When you are writing the number, 2009, there are two zeros. The zero next to 9 is on the left, you erase it, and also get rid of the zero in 20, It will give you 2 and 9. Add then together what would it give you? It would give you 11. You erase both of the zeroes which exist within 2009, what would be left? 29. Now add 11 and 29, it would give you 40, and this is the 40th anniversary of the Nationalist Movement Party."[10]


In 2015 a Uighur staffed, Turkish owned Chinese restaurant was assaulted by Turkish nationalists; they also attacked the Dutch consulate, mistaking it for the Russian consulate,[11][12] and assaulted several South Korean tourists, believing them to be Chinese. Devlet Bahçeli said that the attacks by MHP affiliated Turkish youth on South Korean tourists was "understandable", telling the Turkish news paper Hürriyet that: "What is the difference between a Korean and a Chinese anyway? They both have slitty eyes. Does it make any difference?"[13][14]

He accused Russia of murdering Turkish soldiers, who were shot in an accident by Russian fighter planes in 2017. He said; "Russia shoots our soldiers, then disgusts them. This is a mistaken, shameful, international law said to count".[15]

He has close ties to mafia boss Alaattin Çakıcı who he visited in prison,[16] and for who he demanded a general amnesty. The demand was denied though by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.[17]

After an amassing of Greek and Turkish troops at the border amid rising tensions between the two countries, Bahçeli accused Greek defense minister Panos Kammenos of being mentally ill, proclaiming that he should "visit a clinic" among other insults.[18]

He has also stated that the deportation of Armenians during Armenian genocide from their historic and indigenous homelands was an "absolutely correct" act.[19][20]

Bahçeli has also glorified the Three Pashas, perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide, on numerous occasions. After Joe Biden became the first US President to officially acknowledge the Armenian genocide on April 24, 2021, Bahçeli threatened Armenians living in Turkey, Turkish leftists, and Turkish citizens who recognized the genocide, with death, stating "When you look at us, we will make sure that you will see Talaat, Enver Pasha, and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk."[21]


  • 2011 Seçim Beyannamesi (2011 Election Statement)
  • Türkiye Gündemi ve Genelgeler (Turkey's Agenda and Circulars)
  • Gizli Gündemler “Demokrasi, Özgürlük, Anayasa” (The Hidden Agenda of "Democracy, Freedom, Constitution")
  • Millet ve Devlet Bekası İçin Güç Birliği (Power Unions for the Survivability of the Nation and State)
  • Referanduma Doğru İstanbul’da Bayramlaşma (Celebrating in Istanbul on the road to Referendum)
  • Ülkü ve Şuur (Ideal and Consciousness)
  • Bölücü Terörün Siyasallaşma Süreci (Yıkım Projesi) (Politicization Process of Divisive Terror (Demolition Project))
  • Bin Yıllık Kardeşliği “Yaşa ve Yaşat” Mitingi (Thousand Years of Brotherhood "Live and let live" Rally)
  • “Var Ol Türkiye” MHP 9. Olağan Büyük Kurultayı ("Exist, Turkey" MHP 9th Ordinary Grand Congress)
  • Çözülen Ülke Türkiye ve Tavrımız (The Dissolving Country, Turkey and our Attitude)
  • Çözülen Ülke Türkiye ve Ülkümüz (The Dissolving Country, Turkey and our Ideals)
  • MHP 40. Yıl - Bir Hilal Uğruna (MHP 40th Year - For the Sake of a Crescent)
  • Ortak Akılda Buluşma (Ortak Akılda Buluşma)
  • Siyasi Hayat ve Normalleşme Süreci (Political Life and Normalization Process)
  • Yönetilmeyen Türkiye “Kutuplaşma, Kargaşa ve Kaos” (Ungoverned Turkey "Polarization, Confusion and Chaos" )
  • Teslimiyet ve Açılım Siyaseti “Demokrasi, Ekonomi, Güvenlik” (The Politics of Surrender and Opening "Democracy, Economy, Security")
  • Terör Kıskacında Türkiye: Tarihi Uyarı (Turkey in the Grasp of Terror: Historical Warning)

See also


  1. ^ "AK Party ratchets up rhetoric on bilingual and autonomy debate". Today's Zaman. 24 December 2010. Archived from the original on 25 December 2010. Retrieved 25 December 2010.
  2. ^ "24. Dönem Milletvekilleri Listesi (Osmaniye)" (in Turkish). Grand National Assembly of Turkey. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  3. ^ "Türkiye Büyük Millet Meclisi 24. Dönem Milletvekili (Devlet Bahçeli/Osmaniye)" (in Turkish). Grand National Assembly of Turkey. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  4. ^ "Kingmaker brings ultra-nationalism to Erdogan's Islamist mix". Financial Times. 29 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Is Turkey's opposition ready for snap elections?". Hürriyet Daily News. 18 April 2020.
  6. ^ Turkey country report 2015. Rethink Institute (Washington, D.C.). Washington DC. 31 December 2014. ISBN 978-1938300240. OCLC 925377023.CS1 maint: others (link)
  7. ^ Göçek, Fatma Müge (2015). Denial of violence : Ottoman past, Turkish present, and collective violence against the Armenians, 1789-2009. Oxford. p. 598. ISBN 978-0-19-933420-9. OCLC 870211367.
  8. ^ "Seçimler: 22 Temmuz 2007 XXIII. Dönem Milletvekili Genel Seçimi : Seçim Çevreleri Toplu Sonuçları (Osmaniye ili seçim çevresi)" (in Turkish). Yüksek Seçim Kurulu Baskanlıgınca. 22 July 2007. Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 20 July 2011.
  9. ^ "Osmaniye ili seçim çevresi" (PDF) (in Turkish). Yüksek Seçim Kurulu Baskanlıgınca. 22 June 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Demonstrators throw eggs at Dutch consulate in protest against Russia". Today's Zaman. Istanbul. November 21, 2015. [1]
  12. ^ "Devlet Bahçeli". (in Turkish). Retrieved 2020-10-18.
  13. ^ AFP/ec (9 Jul 2015). "Outrage after Turkish politician excuses attack on 'slitty-eyed' tourists". Channel NewsAsia. ISTANBUL. Archived from the original on 2015-10-22.
  14. ^ Agence France Presse (Jul 8, 2015). "Outrage after Turkish politician excuses attack on 'slitty-eyed' tourists". The Daily Star.
  15. ^ Emin Avundukluoglu, Hatice Kesgin (2017-02-12). "MHP leader slams Russia over bombing of Turkish troops". Konya: Anadolu Agency.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  16. ^ "MHP leader defends his visit to notorious mafia leader - Turkey News". Hürriyet Daily News. Retrieved 2019-02-05.
  17. ^ "Pro far-right MHP mob boss receives right to unlimited visitors in prison". Ahval. Retrieved 2019-02-05.
  18. ^ Kokkinidis, Tasos (10 April 2018), Erdogan's Far-Right Ally Says Greek Minister Should 'Visit a Clinic', Greek Reporter, retrieved 10 April 2018
  19. ^ "Forcefully deporting Armenians in 1915 was right decision: MHP leader". Hurriyet Daily News. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  20. ^ "Deporting Armenians in 1915 was right decision: MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli". Horizon. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  21. ^ GMBH, Artı Gerçek-ARTI MEDIA. "'Bahçeli: Biden'ın yazılı açıklaması diyalog köprülerini dinamitlemiştir". Arti Gerçek (in Turkish). Retrieved 2021-04-27.

External links