Mar 28 2018

Turkish president heads Gülen movement’s political wing – opposition leader

Turkey’s main opposition party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is the number one figure in the political wing of the Fethullah Gülen movement, Cumhuriyet newspaper said.

“They have uncovered the industrialist, the baklava-maker, and the worker arms of the Fethullahist Terror Organisation (FETÖ), but there is no political arm,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

“I say that FETÖ’s number one (in the) political arm is the individual occupying the seat of the presidency. Take him to court and I will prove it.”

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement that it calls FETÖ of carrying out the 2016 coup attempt. Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) and followers of the U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gülen had been allies before and after the Islamist party came to power in 2002 until they fell out at the end of 2013 when prosecutors linked to Gülen launched corruption charges against senior AKP figures. The prosecutors were themselves later arrested.

Erdoğan had revealed all state secrets to the secretive movement and then had asked rhetorically “what did you ask for that we did not give?” as the relationship between his AKP and the Gülen movement fell apart, Kılıçdaroğlu said.

“You yourself are the political wing, friend. Two acrobats cannot perform on the same rope. One has fallen and the other is still performing on the wire,” he said.

Kılıçdaroğlu said that the state of emergency imposed after the failed coup was being used to cover up the relationship between the AKP and Gülen movement.

“Why is there still a state of emergency?” he asked. “I’ll tell you. They are keeping it going in order that FETÖ’s political wing is not revealed and that the people do not talk about this issue.”