Erdoğan tasks top audit board to probe Gülenists
AA photoPresident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has tasked the country’s top auditing board to probe the activities of the “parallel state structure,” a purported illegal organization allegedly led by U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, more than a year after getting the country’s top national body to list the “movement” as a threat.
Touching upon Turkey’s ongoing military operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Erdoğan said on Jan. 26 that what was lacking in counterterrorism efforts was not “regulations.”
“The law and regulations required for [successful counterterrorism efforts] are there. Do you know what we need? It is astute, persevering and courageous administrators who will implement these with determination. Don’t forget, cowards can never build monuments of victory,” Erdoğan said, speaking at a gathering of district governors at the presidential palace.
The same goes for the fight against the “parallel state structure,” Erdoğan added.
“We have to rapidly clean members of this structure, who also pose a threat against our state tradition, from all levels of public service. This structure has been registered by our National Security Council [MGK] as a terror organization which works against our state and our nation. Efforts to fight against the parallel structure have been closely followed through by both the National Security Council and our State Audit Board [DDK]. At the moment, this is the top priority duty of the State Audit Board which works under me,” he said.
Gülen is the top suspect in numerous cases involving the “Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ)/Parallel State Structure (PDY),” which both Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) accuse of exploiting the judiciary and state institutions to achieve their goals.
In October 2014, the MGK publicly documented the Gülen movement as one of the leading threats against the country’s national security.
Erdoğan has held almost 20 regular meetings with village and neighborhood chiefs since late January 2015. Yet, this was his first gathering with district governors.
The DDK is an inspection body attached to the presidential office which has in the past probed state-sensitive issues such as the 2007 murder of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink and the killing of 35 people in a 1993 arson attack on a hotel that was hosting an Alevi festival, an incident dubbed the Madımak/Sivas massacre.
In October 2015, Erdoğan ordered the board to conduct a special investigation into the Oct. 10, 2015, Ankara Massacre, in which two suicide bombers killed 100 people.