Journalists Cem Küçük and Fuat Uğur, who are staunch supporters of Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, made a call on Thursday for the assassination of the followers of the faith-based Gülen movement who are abroad during a live broadcast on TGRT news channel.
The Gülen movement is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, a claim that the movement strongly denies.
Uğur quoted İsmail Hakkı Pekin, former Intelligence Chief of the General Staff, who had said on Habertürk TV station, “Those from FETÖ [a derogatory term used by government circles to refer to the Gülen movement] who have betrayed and ran abroad should be exterminated and that is the responsibility of the Republic of Turkey” and Uğur added that he totally agrees with him.
Küçük, a staunchly pro-government journalist known for his attacks on government critics on social media, suggested that Justice and Development Party (AKP) supporters living abroad were willing to carry out the assassinations and that the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MİT) has the authority to carry out such acts abroad. Küçük added that Turkish people living abroad were willing to sacrifice themselves and they know where Gülen followers are living.
“Look how England and the US are killing people. They can make the executions look like a heart attack or a car accident. Why the hearts of those FETÖ people never stop?” he continued.
Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the Gülen movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, 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.
Due to the ongoing witch hunt against the Gülen movement, thousands of Gülen followers had to leave Turkey and seek refuge abroad to avoid government persecution.
At least 161,751 people were detained or investigated and 50,334 people were arrested in Turkey in the framework of the Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement since the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, according to statistics reported by state-run Anadolu news agency by basing on information taken from the officials from Turkey’s Justice Minsitry on June 13. (turkishminute.com) June 15, 2017