The leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has filed a counter lawsuit against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in an ongoing row over the political wing of a religious group accused by Ankara of orchestrating the July 2016 coup attempt.
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s lawsuit against the Turkish president demanding 5 kuruş (0,083 cents) as compensation follows a lawsuit filed by Erdoğan against Kılıçdaroğlu on February 13 for 500,000 lira ($ 82,666), Birgün newspaper reported.
The CHP leader in a statement earlier this month had accused the Turkish president of handing the state to the Gülen movement, a group led by U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, which Ankara maintains was behind the failed putsch and a long-running scheme to overthrow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan by infiltrating Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
Erdoğan clapped back at Kılıçdaroğlu, saying the CHP leader himself formed the political leg of the outlawed organisation.
Over 77,000 people accused of links to the Gülen movement have been arrested and another 150,000 public employees suspended or sacked as part of a world-wide crackdown on the group by the Turkish government following the failed putsch.
The Turkish government has previously denied the existence of a political wing of the group in its fold, saying Gülenists, former allies of the ruling AKP, had been purged from their ranks.