Turkish far-right leader Bahçeli says viral rap video paves the way for coup

Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), said that he did not find cabinet change discussions appropriate during a meal with members of the press on Wednesday, secular opposition daily Cumhuriyet reported.

Speculation about the cabinet revisions emerged last week on Turkish media when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held back-to-back meetings with three ministers, but many analysts argue that radical changes to cabinet minister appointments are unlikely.

Bahçeli said the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Erdoğan should focus on consolidating the presidential system and making it fully functional rather than lending an ear to the opposition's objections.

Turkey voted to switch to an executive presidential system in a referendum in 2017, which was held during a period of emergency rule following a failed coup attempt in July 2016.

Bahçeli and the MHP campaigned in favour of the new system in 2017 and took part in electoral coalitions with the AKP in presidential and parliamentary elections in June 2018 and local elections this year.

The new system has done away with the position of the prime minister and handed executive powers to the president. The system has been criticised since the country's economic downturn started last year, with Erdoğan's son-in-law Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak coming in the line of fire.

Bahçeli denounced the criticism of Albayrak and said the minister’s relation to Erdoğan was no reason to replace him, adding that similar situations had been seen in Britain and the United States.

Besides, the far-right leader took aim at rap songs protesting about various grievances in Turkey that drew millions of hits within hours of launching earlier this month, likening the tracks to a coup attempt.

"If new generation accepts this rap verse by verse, the groups directing the (the issues addressed in) each of those verses will cause chaos in Turkey. People aspiring to stage a coup in the name of rap will multiply"