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CHP leader implies his brother might have been bribed by gov’t

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Leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has hinted that his brother, who accused him of having been deceived by the Gülen movement, might have been bribed by the government.

Kılıçdaroğlu’s brother Celal came to public attention last month when he began a march from Aydın’s Söke district to Didim in support of the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) crackdown on the Gülen movement.

In remarks to media outlets, Celal Kılıçdaroğlu said his brother did not support his “struggle” and referred him to the CHP’s disciplinary board for expulsion from the party.

Celal Kılıçdaroğlu also said that people from FETÖ, a phrase coined by the AKP government to refer to the Gülen movement as a terrorist organization, deceived his brother.

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was asked about his brother’s remarks during a TV program on NTV on Thursday evening.

“This issue is a moral one. If somebody had put some money in a person’s pocket and told them to say this or that, we would definitely expel that person from the party,” he said, adding that this applies to everybody including his brother.

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.

More than 120,000 people have been purged from state bodies, in excess of 90,000 detained and over 39,000 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.

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