The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government long knew about the threat posed by U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, who was accused of masterminding the attempted takeover on July 15, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu
“Now they [the AKP government] say, ‘We took 17-25 [the Dec. 17-25, 2013, graft probes] as a milestone’… If there is a milestone, it is the National Security Council [MGK] decision on Aug. 25, 2004. That decision said Fethullah Gülen was an open threat and precautions must be taken. And everyone’s signatures were below it. Take that for example. Why 17-25? They say, ‘We did not know about it,’ but you certainly knew about it and you had your signatures below it,” Kılıçdaroğlu said while addressing his party’s provincial heads in the Mediterranean province of Kahramanmaraş on Sept. 24.
Daily Taraf had said on Nov. 28, 2013, that it was a MGK decision to fight against the Gülen movement in an article titled “The Decision to Finish Gülen Was Made in 2004.”
Reporter Mehmet Baransu is currently on trial for leaking secret documents of the state and facing up to 52 years in prison.
Kılıçdaroğlu also criticized the government for bringing the country to the verge of a coup, saying the AKP brought instability to the country over the course of 14 years.
“At the end of 14 years [of AKP rule], Turkey was confronted with a coup attempt. We had 240 democracy martyrs on July 15 [the night of the failed coup attempt]. Now everyone should put their hands on their hearts. Who is responsible for the martyrs? Who brought the country to the point of a coup? Why is there no coup in countries where democracy is developed? Why is there no coup in France, Britain, Japan and America? If you do not bring full democracy to the country, you cannot bring peace to the country and always leave the door ajar to a coup,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
He also accused the government of taking revenge by decree laws under the state of emergency, noting that people should not be declared guilty without a court decision.
“Now they are talking about FETÖ [the Fethullahist Terror Organization - Gülenists]. Well, who brought this trouble into Turkey? …They declared a state of emergency and now people are paying the price. Teachers and academics are paying the same price as a coup plotter,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that the state would not be governed by oppression, hate and animosity.