Erdoğan says ‘civil society groups working against Turkish state’ largely destroyed
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
DHA photoCivil society organizations “working against the state” have largely been “destroyed” during the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) time in power since 2002, President Recep Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has stated.
“For years, Turkish civil society groups were seen as institutions working despite the state, the government, and even against it. This wrong, which was a reflection of a gap between the state and the nation, has been corrected to a large extent through our 14-year struggle,” Erdoğan told guests, all of whom were civil society representatives, during an iftar meal reception at the presidential palace in Ankara on June 21.
Erdoğan said state institutions and civic organizations now worked hand in hand for the good of the people, praising the invited groups for displaying the “coalescence of the state and the nation.”
‘Parallel state broken like a glass palace’
The president also expressed appreciation for the “strong support” of civil society in “the state’s fight against terrorism and the parallel structure,” referring to followers of the U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, an ally-turned-enemy of the Turkish government.
He cited the purported “parallel state” as an example of a “so-called civil society organizations” working against the country.
“The parallel structure, which once encompassed our country’s biggest, most powerful and widespread civil society organization, shattered like a glass palace after their betrayal came to light,” Erdoğan said.
He also targeted what he called “professional provocateurs” aiming to create chaos in the country by manipulating “excuses” to fuel opposition to the government.
“Wherever they see a problem, they immediately throw fuel onto the fire to amplify it. They sometimes use trees or flowers; they sometimes use women, children; they sometimes use other, simpler tensions, to blur the waters, to create discontent,” Erdoğan said, adding that the “same faces” can be seen in every such incident.