Members of Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) were in disarray Friday, divided over whether a new court ruling would allow an extraordinary congress to be held on Sunday.
Late Friday, Ankara's 15th Enforcement Directorate decided to overrule a decision by Ankara's 2nd Enforcement Court apparently greenlighting the congress, which could see a push to replace the party leadership. The directorate also said that injunctions by civil courts in Tosya and Gemerek against holding the congress remain in force.
The director of the 15th Enforcement Directorate issued a statement saying that the appeal by dissident MHP deputies had been rejected and that his decision is line with the Gemerek Civil Court injunction.
Amid the conflicting court rulings, party leader Devlet Bahceli said, "The MHP is expected to be drowned along with Turkey while it is struggling in a siege which has regional and global branches. I want to cut it short tonight and say it clearly: we will not have a general congress on May 15."
He added: "None of my brothers and sisters shall become the pawn of a trans-oceanic-centered-game [implying US-based preacher Fetullah Gulen, leader of the Gulenist terror organization or PDY/FETO] and fall for the trap of a so-called congress. Attempting to paint the MHP as being in chaos, blocking the MHP is a sin which is heavy to carry."
Bahceli also accused the dissident members of committing a crime by violating court rulings.
Gulen's "parallel state" is designated by the government as a group of Turkish bureaucrats and senior officials embedded in the country's institutions, including the judiciary and the police, who allegedly seek to undermine the current Turkish government.
Speaking to reporters, MHP lawyer Yucel Bulut said that even without a final ruling by the Court of Cassation, where the MHP Central Committee appealed a decision by Ankara's 12th Civil Court to allow the congress, some members of the party are urging people to attend a congress on Sunday.
Bulut also cited the injunctions by civil courts in Tosya and Gemerek against holding a congress.
But former MHP Deputy Meral Aksener said via Twitter that the extraordinary congress will go ahead Sunday.