BELGA/WALSCHAERTS

Christian democrats expel candidate with links to Grey Wolves

The Flemish Christian Democrat Party CD&V has expelled one of its candidates from the party after it emerged that she has links to the Turkish ultranationalist, far-right organisation the Grey Wolves. Safiye Calinalti is standing as the 28th candidate on the party’s electoral list in the East Flemish town of Lokeren. Although she has now been expelled from the party, she will remain a candidate as it is now too late to remove her from the list. Ms Calinalti was photographed attending meetings by held the Grey Wolves.        

On one of the photographs Safiye Calinalti was seen to do the Grey Wolf salute. The photographs were contain in an 8 minute video produced by the Flemish Nationalist Party N-VA in the style of a documentary report.

The film dealt with candidates from other parties that were alleged to have links with the Grey Wolves.  

A breach of trust

Preciously CD&V had said that it wouldn’t expel Ms Calinalti as the photographs were said to have been taken 5 years ago.

"We believe in giving people a second chance. We gave the candidate the benefit of the doubt when she told us in no uncertain terms that she had broken all links with the organisation 5 years ago”, a spokesperson for CD&V’s Lokeren branch told journalists. .

However, when it emerged that she had posed on photos with members of the Grey Wolves much more recently the party decided that enough was enough.

"Unfortunately we must conclude that she hasn’t told us the truth. There has been a complete breach of trust”, the spokesperson added

CD&V Lokeren stress that it intends to campaign with even more zeal for a society in which respect is central. “However, respect needs to come from both sides”.