AKP and Gülen movement should stop their race to dominate Turkish society: BDP co-chair
DİYARBAKIR – Doğan News Agency
The dispute between the Gülen movement and the AKP is a crucial debate for a true democracy in Turkey, BDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş told reporters in Diyarbakır on Nov. 29. DHA photoThe ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Gülen movement should “stop their race for the domination over the Turkish society,” Peace and Democracy Party’s (BDP) co-chair said, reacting to the latest row between the government and the Hizmet [Service] movement founded by the Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.
“The dispute between the [Gülen] movement and the AKP is a crucial debate for a true democracy in Turkey. We don’t have to be imposed as if we have to choose between the movement on the one hand, and the AKP on the other. We are against both viewpoints,” Selahattin Demirtaş told reporters on Nov. 29, describing the latest row, which erupted after the government took steps to close the test prep schools, as a “fight for power.”
“The democracy [models] that both the AKP and the movement are offering are absolutely not based on freedom. Our advice for both is the following: They should stop their race for domination over the Turkish society, because that is nobody’s property,” Demirtaş said.
He also emphasized that both the AKP and the Gülen movement have cooperated for years, to the BDP’s detriment. “Up to 10,000 people were arrested as a result of this parallel state organization. It is very clear they have currently taken hold of every [institution]. Now, the fight for power has begun. There is no debate or fight on democracy here,” Demirtaş said.
'No governor makes decisions without consulting the movement'
Demirtaş also claimed no governor, head of a district, rector or chief of police made decisions without consulting the core committee of the Gülen movement.
“I’m asking, I'm curious, how many governors see in themselves the power [to make decisions without consulting the Gülen movement]? I don’t want to bring anyone under suspicion, but many of the prosecutors attached to Special Courts or a great part among the chief of police, can they make decisions without consulting the [Gülen] movement’s half-secret organizations in their city?” Demirtaş asked. The Special Courts were abolished by the government last year.
Demirtaş also claimed the Gülen movement was well-aware of the National Security Council (MGK) decision in 2004 signed by the government, recommending an action plan against them. The document released on Nov. 28 by daily Taraf came to heat up the row between the government and Gülen movement. Some government officials confirmed the document's existence, but denied that any action had been undertaken after its issue.
“I think this is not something the Gülen movement heard for the first time. They probably knew about it when the decision was being made. But now the conflict has deepened, the document has been released after all these years,” Demirtaş claimed, adding despite the decision cooperation prevailed.
“What is sure is the AKP and the Gülen movement has cooperated and was allied to establish a new state inside the state. We felt that during the political genocide against the [Kurdistan Communities Union, the urban wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)], so we know about it,” Demirtaş said.
Many commented that the government’s intention on changing the status of the test prep schools, known as dershanes, was a step against the Gülen movement, which is running a number of such institutions.