AKP supporters should fear a post-Erdoğan era

Supporters of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) may all face trial if another president were to be elected to replace Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, pundits have said in a televised discussion on the pro-government Beyaz TV.

Former lawmaker for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Mehmet Metiner said they would be the first to perish in such a scenario.

The new government would release prisoners and arrest Erdoğan loyalists, Metiner said.

Western nations would immediately extradite Erdoğan’s supporters to the new government if anybody other than Erdoğan were elected president, pro-government commentator Cem Küçük said, unlike dissidents who “get residency permits in one day.”

“Those who did not extradite (dissident journalist) Can Dündar would extradite you,” said Latif Şimşek, host of the program on Beyaz TV that is owned by the son of Melih Gökçek, the former mayor of Ankara from the AKP.

The number of Turkish citizens seeking asylum in Europe, many doing so on political grounds, have soared since the government crackdown against dissidents after the failed coup attempt in 2016.

If the AKP and Erdoğan hadn’t won in the June 2018 elections, some businessmen who faced charges related to the coup attempt might not have been convicted, Küçük said.

Turkey has arrested just short of 31,000 people since the coup attempt, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu had announced in March. More than half a million people were taken into custody in the same time period.