CHP, AKP in new row over intelligence lists of ‘Gülenists’
ANKARAThe government and the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) are engaged in a new row after the latter’s leader claimed that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was trying to protect some of its allies who had strong links to the Gülen movement, believed to be behind Turkey’s July 15 coup attempt.
CHP head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said he was certain that some AKP officials were using the ByLock communication system, an application that was specifically designed for members of what the government and prosecutors refer to as the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ).
“Absolutely there are. The deciphered names of the people who use ByLock are being selectively submitted to prosecutors [by the intelligence agency]. This is controlled,” Kılıçdaroğlu told Habertürk TV in an interview on Oct. 28.
Having the ByLock application on smart phones or computers is seen by investigators as major evidence proving an individual’s link to FETÖ.
Kılıçdaroğlu has long accused the government of neglecting the “political links” of coup plotters out of fear of the probe embroiling the ruling party, although Major General Metin Dişli, the brother of a deputy AKP leader, has been arrested on charges of staging the coup.
“Mehmet Dişli, who was the person masterminding the coup, was assigned to the general headquarters of the Turkish General Staff before fulfilling his duties in the Turkish Armed Forces by a political will. He was then promoted. He should have fulfilled his field duties, but in order to keep him there, his position was instead changed and another department was prepared in accordance to his promotion,” the CHP leader said.
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım responded to Kılıçdaroğlu’s claim on ByLock users within the AKP on Oct. 28, demanding evidence.
“This is a very serious allegation. Our expectation is for him to give us his documents so that we can do what is necessary,” he said, adding that the government’s duty is to arrest criminals and not to make distinctions between them.
“If he knows something about it and he does not inform us than it means he is not doing his job,” Yıldırım said.
He also blasted Kılıçdaroğlu’s claim that the government might hold a snap election in order to exclude members who are linked to the Gülenists.
“Early elections to cleanse [the AKP] of FETÖ? This is astonishing. No elections could be held to clear criminals [from a party],” Yıldırım said.