Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) parliamentary group deputy chairman and Kayseri deputy Mustafa Elitaş warned party members in Kayseri on Thursday not to greet followers of the faith-based Gülen movement during the Eid al-Adha festival on Friday and advised members to report them to the police instead.
Speaking during a party gathering in Kayseri on Thursday, Elitaş said: “There are groups that we cannot come together with, make peace with or embrace as we have to see them as our enemies. It is not possible to exchange greetings and embrace them. We can’t ignore this fact even during the bayram [Eid al-Adha festival].”
Underlining that followers of the Gülen movement, which is accused by Turkish authorities of masterminding a failed coup last year, are no different than supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Elitaş said, “The enmity towards Gülen followers must continue as they intend to destroy the unity of Turkey.”
Following the failed coup on July 15, 2016, the AKP government launched a wide-ranging witch-hunt against Gülen followers that led to the purge of more than 146,000 people from state jobs, the detention of nearly 125,00 and the arrest of over 58,000.
According to a tally by TurkeyPurge.com, 2,099 schools, dormitories and universities and 187 media outlets were closed over their links to the movement.