Gov’t claims main opposition CHP’s march ‘supports Gülenists’

Gov’t claims main opposition CHP’s march ‘supports Gülenists’

ANKARA
Gov’t claims main opposition CHP’s march ‘supports Gülenists’

The Turkish government has said the “justice march” of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to Istanbul “supports FETÖ,” referring to what prosecutors call the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ), believed to have been behind the July 2016 coup attempt.

“The march that Kılıçdaroğlu is conducting in the name of seeking justice is actually supporting FETÖ,” Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli said in the Black Sea province of Giresun late on June 18. 

Canikli’s criticism came days after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Kılıçdaroğlu’s march was “not legal.” 

Kılıçdaroğlu commenced a 450 km march from Ankara to Istanbul on June 15 in protest at the arrest of CHP deputy Enis Berberoğlu, who has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for “leaking state secrets” in a Syria-bound intelligence trucks case. 

Berberoğlu, the first CHP lawmaker to be imprisoned, was accused of providing daily Cumhuriyet a video purporting to show Turkey’s intelligence agency trucking weapons to Syria. Cumhuriyet reported that trucks allegedly owned by the National Intelligence Agency (MİT) contained weapons and ammunition headed for Syria and were stopped and searched in southern Turkey.

Canikli accused followers of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen in the judiciary and security institutions of illegally ordering the search and revealing the incident, accusing Kılıçdaroğlu of “supporting FETÖ” by giving support to Berberoğlu. 

“More importantly, who gave this information to that convicted lawmaker? Who gave that information used for espionage, which is directly harming the security of the state, when it should have remained a secret? Sooner or later that will be revealed,” Canikli said.

Blasting the CHP leader for “acting against an ongoing judicial process,” he said Kılıçdaroğlu should respect the court ruling “otherwise there will be chaos.”

“On the one hand you are trying to change the court decision by having an influence on the court, but on the other you are supporting FETÖ. That is what this means,” Canikli added.