Jan 01 2018

Erdoğan loyalist “people’s special forces” claims 7,000 members

A Turkish group that says it is ready to fight to defend President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has gained 7,000 members since it became officially sanctioned in November, its leader said.

Fatih Kaya, who previously fought for a Turkish Islamist group in Syria, told the Cumhuriyet newspaper the People’s Special Forces (HÖH) were “ready at any time when our nation of 80 million people needs us”.

The group’s Facebook page shows strong Islamist and pan-Turkic sympathies in addition to its devotion to Erdoğan.

After the July 2016 failed coup attempt, Erdoğan supporters coined the slogan "the People's Special Forces" to describe the civilian efforts to stop the putsch.

Opposition parties criticised the group.

“There is no place for jihad under the rule of law,” opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Mahmut Tanal was quoted by Cumhuriyet as saying. “We have no need for this type of militant forces.”

 

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