An elite police unit chanted Grey Wolf slogans during April 10 Police Day ceremonies in Sivas in an incident that could deepen a recent debate between the government and the Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, about mobilizing supporters’ groups, reports said.
The video taken by a cell phone shows members of the Special Operations police unit marching along the Central Anatolian province’s Atatürk Avenue on their way back to the police headquarters from İstasyon Avenue, where the parade was held. Police units marching in the front lines were silent, but the Special Operations unit marched, singing nationalist anthems, such as “This movement shall never die, this cause shall never die,” composed by Ozan Arif, a leading name among the Grey Wolves.The records also show police chiefs walking at the front and chanting “Who are these?” while police units reply back “The Grey Wolves,” as passersby clapped and cheered in support.
The videos were reported to be circulating on a number of video sharing websites, according to Doğan news agency, or DHA.
The video comes shortly after an election quarrel between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli, in which the former claimed that he could rally 10,000 supporters in Taksim Square in Istanbul if he wanted to in response to recent student demonstrations against the university entrance exam scandal. In response, Bahçeli claimed that just 1,000 of his Grey Wolves would be sufficient to rout the prime minister’s 10,000 supporters.
The Grey Wolves, also commonly referred to as the Ülkü Ocakları (Idealist Hearths), are a youth organization with close links to the MHP.