Turkish PM denies claims gov’t did not remove Gülenists from politics
ANKARAThe Turkish government does not accept claims that the followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, widely believed to have masterminded the July 2016 coup attempt, were not removed from politics, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said.
“We never accept accusations like: ‘Politicians are not being affected, others are being affected and some are even acquitted.’ Those who are behind this will definitely be found, revealed and be delivered to the supreme justice,” Yıldırım said at a Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) meeting late on May 23 in Ankara, adding that a misperception is being conveyed on the issue of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
His remarks came after the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) called on the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to reveal a list of Gülenists in politics.
“Everyone should know this; FETÖ is a terrorist organization and it targeted the Turkish Republic’s democracy, independence, future and its people’s future. It’s as clear and obvious as that. That’s why our determination in this struggle will continue until the end,” Yıldırım said.
While saying that they will not act mercifully, but will with the principle of justice, Yıldırım added that the AKP was open to criticisms.
“Turkey is a state of law. Our justice mechanism will function, it will give the punishment to those who deserve, but we will, of course, be meticulous while doing that. We won’t act with mercy, but we will with the principle of justice because the base of the state of law is justice. There are criticisms against our government and the party on this issue from time to time. They are certainly welcome, we don’t oppose that, but there is a contradiction here,” he added.
Yıldırım said the contradiction was stemming from “being criticized at all times.”
“There are criticisms such as ‘Why was this person arrested and why was the other one released?’ When we intervene in these, we are criticized with ‘You intervened in the judiciary.’ When we don’t intervene, then we are criticized again as ‘Why didn’t you stop it?’ What is right should be decided,” he said.
“The right thing is that the judiciary should do its job, the administration should do its job and the legislation should do its own. If these powers intervene in each other’s areas, then problems would start and our democracy and country would lose,” he added.