Turkey’s state institutions not fully purged of Gülenists, says Erdoğan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday said that members of the Gülen movement designated a terrorist organisation by Ankara and accused of orchestrating the July 2016 coup attempt, have not been fully purged from state institutions, independent news site Diken reported.

“I think that we have yet to cleanse members of the FETÖ betrayal mob from our institutions,” Erdoğan said, referring to the Gülen movement, which Ankara calls FETÖ, an abbreviation of Fethullahist Terror Organisation.

Turkey accuses the Gülen movement, a former ally of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), of over decades infiltrating state institutions, including the security forces, judiciary and ministries, among others. Since a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, Turkish authorities have imprisoned thousands they suspect of being members of the Gülen movement. Many more have lost their jobs for similar reasons, whilst assets worth billions of dollars have been seized from businesses connected to the movement.

“There are currently 30,559 FETÖ members behind bars, 20,226 of whom are convicted and 10,333 [who have been] arrested. The number of those expelled from our security forces has exceeded 31,000. Those expelled from the military number 15,000 and those from the judiciary over 4000,” Erdoğan said.

The Turkish president said that the struggle against the group continues with meticulous care to ensure there is no unjust mistreatment in the process.

“We will respond with new messages to those who insist on the same scenario,” Erdoğan added.