President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) are the ones responsible for infiltration of the Gülen network into the state’s institutions, said main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Feb. 11 during his party’s parliamentary group meeting.
Kılıçdaroğlu said that it was thanks to the legislation and government policies adopted during the reign of Erdoğan that the Gülen network, which authorities refer to as Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), took over the judiciary, military, police forces and interior ministry.
“The political authority that paved the way for FETÖ is its political leg. The name of the person who handed over the state to the FETÖ is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
“A report penned by a unit of the presidency says, ‘FETÖ has infiltrated into all of the capillaries of the state.’ Who placed members of FETÖ into the state’s all capillaries, and how? How did they find positions in the police forces, the interior ministry and the army? We name the ones who placed the terror organization’s members into these positions as FETÖ’s political leg,” he said.
“While FETÖ’s members were being placed in the state’s capillaries, can the ruling party say? ‘I did not know they were members of the terror organization,’” Kılıçdaroğlu said, putting forward 20 questions for the AKP to answer regarding FETÖ’s infiltration into the state institutions.
Kılıçdaroğlu also said that although a warning was issued by Turkey’s National Security Council (MGK) on Aug. 24, 2004 that said the Gülen network was “dangerous,” Erdoğan, who was at the time prime minister, had “done nothing.”
The discussion over FETÖ’s political wing has come to the foreground recently again after former army chief of staff İlker Başbuğ said that a bill which was drafted during the AKP-rule was the work of “the political leg of FETÖ.” Following Başbuğ’s comments, six AKP lawmakers filed lawsuits against the former army chief.
HDP co-chair Buldan: FETÖ’s political leg is AKP
Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Pervin Buldan also accused the AKP of being the “political leg of FETÖ” during a parliamentary group meeting on Feb. 11.
“Nowadays, the political leg of FETÖ is being discussed. The ruling party is trying to hide the fact that it is the group’s political leg with tricks. No matter how many times they deny it, the AKP is FETÖ’s political leg, political arm and political brain,” she said.
The HDP co-chair said that lawmakers of the AKP and its ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have many times rejected motions filed by opposition parties demanding an investigation into the Gülen network’s political wing.
Buldan also said that former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ have been imprisoned by a “joint FETÖ-AKP frame” and it was the Gülen-linked prosecutors who prepared the indictments against the former HDP co-chairs.
Until 2013, Fethullah Gülen was an ally of Erdoğan, when their relationship broke down over a corruption scandal. Gülen has since been on Turkey’s most-wanted terrorist list. Turkish authorities believe that the Gülen network masterminded the failed coup attempt of July 2016.