Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have exchanged barbs over the role of the two parties in benefiting the Gülenist organization, which is blamed for the July 15 coup attempt, during separate addresses to their parties on Oct. 4.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu hit the government over its alleged role in facilitating the organization’s rise into the state, noting a 2004 National Security Council (MGK) recommendation to the AKP to act against the group at home and abroad.
Kılıçdaroğlu said if they did not ask these questions on who “let the group expand this much,” then they would not be able to understand the coup bid. He also recalled a recent statement by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who said that there was “a single common point” between the government and the outlawed movement and that they regarded the group as an “establishment that pursued the same destination but took a different path.”
“What is being implied by this ‘destination?’ We know the destination of the other one. This one’s destination is also the same. Then what is the source of the fight? Whether I will first reach that destination, or you? This is the source of the fight,” said Kılıçdaroğlu, dismissing claims by the government that it was “fooled” while adding that a president should not remain in his seat after claiming he was “fooled.”
Kılıçdaroğlu also said the claims were not right and accused the government of “knowing about it.”
Meanwhile, speaking hours before the CHP leader during his party’s group meeting in parliament, AKP leader and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım urged his party members to be vigilant against the organization’s incisive rhetoric and warned them not to “fall into their game.”
Yıldırım also accused the group of working to create doubts about his party and “overshadow the determination of the fight carried out against it by using all kinds of lies, and cheating” – a method, he claimed, that is also used by other political parties.
The prime minister also slammed allegations against his party that they were protecting high-ranking members of the Gülenist movement while organizing probes and prosecutions against low-ranking supporters of the group.
Opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli said on Sept. 29 that authorities were neglecting “the leadership cadre” of the Gülenist organization in their legal and administrative investigation and were instead concentrating on suspects at the lowest levels. Bahçeli said such a move would create victims and that once the “real names” behind the failed coup attempt were uncovered, others would be revealed easily.
“This is incitement itself. Those who follow these statements should not forget that they are falling under the grip of [the Gülenists]. This does not mean that there are not any mistakes and missing things. Of course, in a place where there are humans, there are mistakes and missing things, and all these can be made up. But treason can never be forgiven,” said Yıldırım, adding that the Prime Ministry and his party were working “meticulously” to probe the complaints lodged against those with Gülenist links in the public sphere and within the party establishment, respectively.