A man who is standing a trial in İstanbul for using physical violence against his wife has directed accusations of terrorism at the woman, accusing her of being a follower of the Gülen movement and a member of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Sözcü daily reported on Thursday.
“My wife told me she attended religious talks given by Fetö members while she was a student. In addition, it can be understood from what she says that she’s a member of the PKK,” said Ercüment T., the husband of Merve T., during the trial, asking for the launch of criminal charges against her.
The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and labels it a terrorist organization, named “Fetö” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.
The PKK, which has been waging a bloody war in Turkey’s Southeast since 1984, is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey as well as by the EU and the US.
Ercüment T. reportedly attacked his wife both in the street and in her workplace, prompting her to file criminal charges against her husband. He is facing a jail sentence of up to three years on charges of threatening his spouse and inflicting bodily harm on her.
During the trial at an İstanbul court earlier this week, Ercüment T. denied the charges and accused his wife, whom he is about to divorce, of being a member of terrorist organizations.
In Turkey, it has become common for people, particularly for those who have animosity between them, to accuse each other of being followers of the Gülen movement as the government has carried out a massive crackdown on the movement’s followers since the coup attempt.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has on many occasions called on the public to report anyone with links to the movement to the authorities.
Since the failed putsch, more than 150,000 people have been removed from state jobs while in excess of 50,000 others have been jailed and some 600,000 people have been investigated on allegations of terrorism due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement.