The new Turkey

Demirtaş accuses Gülen movement for plotting
against the peace process

12 April 2018

The jailed former leader of Turkey’s main pro-Kurdish party told the third hearing of his trial on terrorism charges on Wednesday that high-placed members of the Gülen movement, blamed for the failed 2016 coup, had plotted against peace efforts between the government and Kurdistan Workers Party armed fighters.

Selahattin Demirtaş, the former co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), jailed since 2016, said that every time Turkey had tried to solve the Kurdish problem by non-military means, there had been interventions and provocations against those attempts from both inside and outside the country. 

U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gülen encouraged his followers, known in Turkey as the “cemaat” to take up jobs in the civil service, police, judiciary, armed forces and media from where they exerted considerable influence before falling out with their former allies in the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) at the end of 2013. The government accuses Gülen of masterminding the failed 2016 coup as a last ditch effort to gain power and oust the elected AKP.

“This is an issue that can affect all global balances of power, therefore maybe the cemaat’s prosecutor or police were not aware, but the ones guiding them absolutely had that purpose,” said Demirtaş.

In peace talks the HDP helped mediate between the government and the PKK that eventually led to a ceasefire in 2013, Demirtaş said the government had guaranteed that no pressure would be put the Kurdish side by the judiciary for their efforts to explain peace to the Kurdish people.

“While we were trying to encourage this perception, the judges, prosecutors, and police of the cemaat were collecting intelligence on us,” Demirtaş said, adding that the intelligence collected on HDP members was then sent to the National Security Council. 

Demirtaş said Gülenists tried to put the government in a difficult condition and make it impossible to continue the peace process, while cemaat members in the judiciary had drawn up charges from those intelligence reports, which he said were now being used against him as evidence. Source

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