Turkey’s opposition CHP calls for investigation into political leg of Gülen movement

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has called for a parliamentary investigation into what  it called the political leg of the Gülen movement, which Ankara accuses of orchestrating the 2016 coup attempt.

The CHP submitted a motion for the investigation signed by its deputy chairs to speaker’s office of Turkish parliament, Diken news site reported on Sunday.

“The leaders of many political parties, their administrators, deputies and all segments of society frequently voice their frustration with the lack of revealing of the political leg of FETÖ,’’ the motion said, referring to the group, which Ankara designates a terrorist organisation and refers to as the Fethullah Terror Organisation (FETÖ).

The Gülen movement was an ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) before the December 2013 corruption cases, in which Gülen-linked prosecutors launched investigations into Turkey’s top ministers. The AKP and its supporters label the incident as a coup attempt. 

Ankara maintains the group was also behind the failed putsch of July 2016 and accuses the group of running a long-running scheme to overthrow Erdoğan by infiltrating Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

Over 77,000 people accused of links to the group have been arrested and another 150,000 public employees suspended or sacked as part of a worldwide crackdown on the group by the Turkish government following the failed putsch.

The Turkish government has denied the existence of a political leg of the group. 

A commission previously established following the coup attempt to investigate the political links of the group caused panic and officially terminated in January 2017, the CHP motion said. 

Unveiling the political leg of the movement is a legal, conscientious, humanitarian responsibility, it said.