Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) İstanbul deputy Mustafa Yeneroğlu, who has recently been publicly criticizing the policies of his party, has said Turkey has gone outside the law in the trials of followers of the Gülen movement and concerning the expulsion of thousands of public servants from their posts in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt in July 2016.
Yeneroğlu’s remarks came on Friday during an exclusive interview with the T24 news website.
Turkey survived a coup attempt on July 15, 2016 following which the AKP government declared a state of emergency and launched a massive crackdown on the alleged or real followers of the Gülen movement.
The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding the failed coup and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.
“Those who used to promote Fetö yesterday, have now become the executors of it. In these trials and in the processes concerning the KHK [purge] victims, Turkey has gone outside the law,” said Yeneroğlu.
Following the coup attempt, the AKP government launched a massive crackdown on followers of the movement under the pretext of an anti-coup fight as a result of which more than 150,000 people were removed from state jobs while in excess of 30,000 others were jailed and some 600,000 people have been investigated on allegations of terrorism.
“If the rule of law is not restored, if the fundamental rights and freedoms are not protected, no problem can be resolved in Turkey,” he said.
The AKP and its leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, are accused of using the coup attempt as a pretext to silence critics and take the judiciary and the media under their control.
“I am looking for the core values of the AKP. There should be self-criticism in politics, and the AKP should question where it made a mistake,” Yeneroğlu added.