Erdoğanist Turkish academic Professor Ahmet Maranki has threatened the nation with civil war if the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its presidential candidate, incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, fail in the elections on June 24.
Introducing himself as the “master of the herbs,” Professor Maranki, who has been in court a number of times for illegal drug production, threatened the people in a live program on the radical Islamist Akit TV that if they are unable to achieve the expected results in the elections they will start to fight by retrieving the weapons they buried in Belgrade Forest in İstanbul.
“These speculations are completely artificial. Therefore, we will not tell every truth everywhere. We are furious. However, if it [the election] yields unexpected results, we have no place to go. So my hope is beyond June 25. If it fails, then we will get the weapons we trained with and buried under the trees in Belgrade Forest. We will stream into the streets and we will say ‘Bismillahirrahmanirrahim’,” he said.
Maranki has attracted widespread criticism on social media for his controversial remarks, with many calling on prosecutors to take action against him on the grounds that he is aiming to create tension in the society ahead of the elections.
A total of 106,740 guns were reported missing or stolen in 2017, according to an 80-page report released by the Interior Ministry in March 2018. The report has raised concerns over the whereabouts of these guns and their potential illegal use.
According to a report by the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF), the lack of clarity behind the ballistics tests on the weapons used in the murder of civilians and troops still lingers. The paramilitary groups that took part in the clashes and which later appeared in various videos taken on the night of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016 were not identified, and how they were organized and mobilised remains a mystery.
There were also reports that Turkish police distributed high-caliber weapons to civilians on the night of the failed coup.
President Erdoğan announced in April that parliamentary and presidential elections, originally scheduled for November 2019, would be held on June 24, meaning a new political system that will increase the powers of the president will take effect a year early.
Turkey is switching from a parliamentary to a presidential system of governance, abolishing the office of the prime minister and decreasing the powers of the parliament, following a narrowly approved referendum in April 2017. The changes take effect with the elections in June.
There are widespread suspicions that President Erdoğan will resort to election rigging to secure an election victory, and opposition parties are vowing to do their best to ensure election security.