Erdoğan advisor: Gülenists downed Russian jet with US knowledge

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Burhan Kuzu

A top advisor of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has argued in a tweet that a Russian jet was shot down by people from the Gülen movement on Nov. 24, 2015, with the knowledge of the United States.

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, which launched a war against the Gülen movement following the eruption of a corruption scandal in late 2013 in which senior government members were implicated, carried its ongoing crackdown on the movement and its sympathizers to a new level after a failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, blaming it for everything that has gone wrong in Turkey over the past several years.

Although the movement strongly denies having any role in the corruption probe or the coup attempt, the government accuses it of having masterminded both despite the lack of any tangible evidence.

“A Russian plane was shot down by FETÖ [a derogatory term coined by the AKP government to refer to members of the Gülen movement] with the US’s knowledge. After discovering the move, Turkey made peace with Russia and reached an understanding on issues from energy to defense,” Erdoğan advisor Burhan Kuzu, who is also a professor of constitutional law and a member of the AKP Central Executive and Decision Committee, wrote on his Twitter account on Tuesday night.

Kuzu’s tweet, posted a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s first visit to Turkey since the jet crisis, contradicted the statements of then-Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and President Erdoğan.

On Nov. 25, 2015, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in front of the camera that he had authorized shooting down the Russian plane. He said he himself had given the order directly to the armed forces.

Speaking about the jet crisis, President Erdoğan on Nov. 26, 2015 had said that “if a similar violation were to be committed today, the response would be the same.”

Kuzu also accused Washington of helping all the terrorist organizations in the region: “So-called ally. Of course this was noted somewhere.”

On the 15th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US, Kuzu had argued in a tweet that the United States staged 9/11 itself.

“The US was horribly attacked 15 years ago today. I think they did it themselves just like they claimed President Erdoğan staged the July 15 coup.”

Professor Kuzu is notorious for his scandalous tweets, mostly targeting opponents both at home and abroad.

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