Co-chairperson of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş has claimed dozens of deputies, mostly from the ranks of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, knew about a military coup attempt that was staged unsuccessfully on July 15.
“Some 80 to 90 deputies had prior knowledge of the coup attempt. Most of them were from the AKP. They aren’t admitting this now fearing the eruption of a political crisis. I am calling on them to reveal who was aware of the coup plans and who would be appointed prime minister [if the coup had succeeded],” Demirtaş said at his party’s parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday.
Turkey experienced a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he first heard about the coup attempt from his brother-in-law on July 15.
Demirtaş said the political element of the coup attempt needs to be exposed.
“How many AKP deputies are pro-coup? Why don’t you reveal this?” he asked
Immediately after the putsch, the AKP government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement despite the lack of any evidence to that effect.
Although the Gülen movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch, the government accuses it of having masterminded the foiled coup.
Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, 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.
More than 100,000 people have been purged from state bodies, over 70,000 detained and 34,000 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian.