Erdoğan calls for probe into main opposition for Gülen links

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called on Wednesday for an investigation into the country’s main opposition party for possible links to a religious group accused of orchestrating the 2016 coup attempt, as the row between the sides over the group escalates.

"We struggled to remove the FETO elements from institutions, and we think that we still haven't been able to fully eliminate this scheme," Erdoğan as said, using Ankara’s acronym for the Gülen movement.

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP)'s Gülen links had not been sufficiently investigated, the Turkish president said.

"The state followed FETO everywhere, but it is clear that the CHP headquarters has not been examined enough," news site T24 quoted Erdoğan as saying.

Turkey blames U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gülen and his followers, known as the Gülen movement, for the 2016 abortive putsch, and has since sacked hundreds of thousands of public officials and army personnel in a series of purges and designated the group a terrorist organisation.

Gülen has denied involvement in the coup attempt.

Erdoğan’s call arrives following the CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s accusation last week of the Turkish President forming the "political wing" of Gülen's network and allowing thousands of Gülen loyalists to enter state ranks.

Erdoğan was quick, in turn, to accuse the CHP leader of involvement with the Gülen network.

The pair have since filed lawsuits against each other over the claims.

The Gülen movement is accused of infiltrating its acolytes into influential positions in the armed forces, judiciary, police, civil service and the media during a years-long alliance with Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), which ended in late 2013.

Attempts by the CHP to establish a parliamentary committee to look into Gülen's political connections have so far been rejected by the ruling AKP.