Some former colleagues failed to walk with AKP: Erdoğan
Verda Özer - ANKARA
Some longtime figures in the cadre of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have failed to walk with the party, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said May 2 on his way back to Turkey from his visit to India.
When asked about a recent debate stirred among pro-AKP columnists, Erdoğan said one side of the debate comprised certain figures who supported the AKP in the past.
“However, I don’t believe they continued their support later,” Erdoğan said, adding that certain figures changed their direction.
“Walking together on the same road and heartfelt companionship are important, and real colleagues walk together until the end,” he said.
“What is more is that recently we have been witnessing some ugly approaches that we cannot accept,” Erdoğan said.
“They say that Islamists are being expelled from the party and being replaced by non-Islamists. First of all, bringing a division between being an Islamist and not being an Islamist in the party’s political work is wrong. We are not looking at followers of a religious lodge,” he said.
He added that some former colleagues were naming like-minded people as the “right ones” and others as the “wrong ones.”
“No one has such a right. They don’t have such an authority to do so. I don’t have such an authority,” he said.
Three days after the April 16 referendum on constitutional amendments, Cem Küçük, a new generation pro-AKP columnist, said the party should draw apart from “radical Islamist and ‘maniac’ figures on the Mavi Marmara,” referring to a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that was raided by Israeli commandos on May 31, 2010.
A total of 10 people, including a member of the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (İHH), were killed in the raid.
Küçük later apologized over his words but his “radical Islamists” remarks triggered a debate.