Turkey’s ruling AKP’s Aybek posing with MP5 machine gun released

Mehmet Aybek, a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) youth branch.

Mehmet Aybek, a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) youth branch, who was detained by police following he shared a photo on Facebook of an MP5 machine gun accompanied by a message saying that he is awaiting orders from Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to kill, has been released on probation by a Turkish court which he was referred to on charge of “inciting people to animosity and hostility.”

“Tell us to shoot and we will shoot, tell us to die and we will die. Your order is enough,” Aybek wrote in reference to President Erdoğan. Aybek removed the photo from his page six hours later, reported CNN Türk.

Aybek claimed that the gun was blank firing gun and he took that photo in a hunting store in the city a month ago. The social media post of Aybek being shared following Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s announcement of the “March of Justice” was perceived as a threat.

AKP Düzce Provincial Chair Hikmet Keskin in his written statement had said that Aybek was called for his resignation and Aybek’s statements don’t represent the party’s approach.

The MP5 is a submachine gun generally used by military, law enforcement, intelligence and security units around the world, and the sale of MP5 guns to civilians is banned in Turkey, according to a security official who spoke to the Hürriyet daily.

Mustafa Maraş, who was put on trial for killing a tractor driver and injuring his brother in an incident that took place in Ankara province last year, had also used an MP5. When asked by the judge how he obtained the weapon used in the murder, Maraş had said: “The gun was one of those distributed [to civilians] in front of the Ankara Police Department on the night of the coup [on July 15]. I got it there. I never used the gun before.”

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the AKP government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the 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.

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.

June 16, 2017

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