CHP to hold public rallies to prevent ‘division of Turkey’

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The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) will hold public rallies starting Dec. 3 with the slogan “We will not allow Turkey’s division,” according to a statement from CHP Deputy Chairman Haluk Koç on Thursday.

The first of these rallies is scheduled to take place in the southern province of Adana on Dec. 3.

Koç, speaking to reporters following a party meeting, said Turkey has been dragged into a bizarre atmosphere following a failed military coup attempt on July 15 and called on the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government to determine whowas actually responsible for the coup attempt.

“Whoever was responsible for the coup attempt should be arrested and taken before the court. The question we are asking is: How did Turkey reach the point of [a military coup attempt] on July 15? How was the groundwork laid for this? …  The questions are very clear. Who made these political mistakes?” asked Koç.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Despite Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, whose views inspired the movement, and the movement having denied the accusation, Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government launched a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

About 110,000 people have been purged from state bodies, in excess of 80,000 detained and over 36,000 have been arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian. Critics argue that lists of Gülen sympathizers were drawn up prior to the coup attempt.

The crackdown has not remained limited to followers of the Gülen movement. The government has also arrested many secular journalists, closed down pro-Kurdish and secular media outlets and even recently arrested 10 deputies from the second largest opposition party, the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), including the party’s co-chairs.

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