Most of ruling party could be jailed over 2016 coup - opposition party head

The head of Turkey’s Islamist opposition Felicity Party has said that many members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) would be jailed in relation to the failed coup of July 15, 2016 if the matter were properly investigated, opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet said.

Speaking at the meeting at which he revealed his party’s candidates for Turkey’s third biggest city, Izmir, for June 24 elections, Temel Karamollaoğlu said the AKP had not intervened against the coup attempt.

“They cannot go too far into this business (the coup) because if they do, it will explode in their faces,” Karamollaoğlu said.

“Because if they take this issue into hand, 70 percent of the AKP will go to jail.”

The Felicity Party is going into the forthcoming elections as part of an opposition coalition together with three secular parties.

The Islamist AKP was for many years allied to followers of U.S.-based Turkish preacher Fethullah Gülen, the man the government blames for carrying out the coup attempt in which more than 200 people were killed. The two groups finally fell out though at the end of 2013 when prosecutors linked to Gülen ordered the arrest of a number of people linked to senior AKP figures.

Karamollaoğlu said the AKP’s control over mass media outlets would be countered by its social media following.

“If the media belongs to the sultan, social media is ours,” Karamollaoğlu said.

“Sadly in Turkey, elections happen very differently to in other countries. When you go to EU countries, the parties involved compete under equal conditions. The media tries to reflect the parties’ ideas as far as possible. But here it is not like that.”