Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has added new insults to his rich collection of hate speeches and defamation targeting Gülen movement on Wednesday and said that “FETÖ (a derogatory acronym has been used by Erdoğan and his supporters following corruption scandal involved by Erdoğan’s close circle on Dec. 17/25, 2013 by referring to Gülen movement) members lost their way, and only follow orders from their owner Fethullah Gülen.”
Labeling the Gülen movement as “evil”, Erdoğan, who openly declared a witch hunt against Gülen movement three years ago, said that the movement exploited the Turkish people’s appreciation for education.
Speaking at an awards ceremony held by the Turkish Academy of Sciences at his ultra-lavish palace in Ankara, Erdoğan said that a number of academics, judicial officials, policemen, soldiers, teachers and businessmen allegedly linked to Gülen Movement may have graduated from top universities, but they were deceived and “followed a charlatan’s false claims”, referring to Gülen.
“Like many heretical structures, FETÖ members have lost their way. Forgetting what they are and who they are, they have become ‘mankurt’ [unthinking slaves] who do exactly what their owner (Gülen) orders,” Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan regime and AKP government accuses the Gülen movement of staging the coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement despite the lack of any evidence to that effect.
Although the Gülen movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch, the government accuses it of having masterminded the foiled coup. Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.
More than 135,000 people have been purged from state bodies and 43,000 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian.