Amid an ongoing witch-hunt targeting the faith-based Gülen movement, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday called on people to not show mercy to the movement, saying the pitiful will be pitied, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
“I am calling on those who are part of this structure [Gülen movement]. Will you still not leave it? I am saying this clearly: if you are pitiful, you will be pitied. There are thousands in prison,” Erdoğan said during a public rally in Yalova province.
Pro-government Yeni Şafak daily columnist Hikmet Genç, a staunch supporter of Erdoğan, said on Thursday that followers of the Gülen movement would soon not be able walk freely in the US, threatening them by saying, “Don’t rest at easy at night.”
“We will destroy them all here in our time, God willing. They will be buried like dogs among crosses [Christians] in places like Pennsylvania. They will not be able to find an imam to recite [the final prayer at their funeral]. They will be buried in the land of infidels. There is no place even for their coffins here. I won’t accept it. Their coffins should be burned. I have no respect [for their dead],” he said.
On Tuesday another pro-Erdoğan columnist, Cem Küçük, along with journalist Fuat Uğur said Turkish intelligence should kill family members of jailed Gülen followers in order to turn the inmates into operatives for the Erdoğan regime.
He also talked about excuses about probable deaths of Gülen followers such as traffic accidents, suicides, mass suicides, death from excessive alcohol use, death from overdose, jumping off a bridge due to debt and health problems.
Erdoğan and his government launched an all-out war against the Gülen movement following corruption operations of December 2013 in which the inner circle of the ruling AKP government and then-Prime Minister Erdoğan were implicated.
Erdoğan also accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016.
Despite the movement strongly denying involvement in the failed coup, Erdoğan launched a witch-hunt targeting the movement following the failed coup.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Dec. 12 that 55,665 people had been jailed and 234,419 passports revoked as part of investigations into the Gülen movement since the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
Soylu on Nov. 16 had said 48,739 people had been jailed and eight holdings and 1,020 companies seized as part of operations against the movement.
The Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.
Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15, 2016 through government decrees issued as part of an ongoing state of emergency.