6 AKP officials file complaint against former army chief over remarks targeting party

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Six former and current deputies of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have filed a criminal complaint against former Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ over recent remarks accusing members of the AKP of ties to terrorism, according to Turkish media reports.

AKP deputies Mustafa Elitaş, Bekir Bozdağ and Ahmet Aydın as well as former party deputies Mehmet Ceylan, Ahmet Müfit Doğan and Yahya Doğan filed the complaint at the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office following a call from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Başbuğ angered Erdoğan and the AKP when he recently called for an investigation into the passage of an AKP-supported bill in June 2009 that allowed military personnel to be tried by specially authorized courts.

The AKP officials accused Başbuğ of insulting a public officials for performing their jobs.

The same AKP figures also filed a criminal complaint against former Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Dursun Çiçek, a retired colonel, on allegations of slander.

During a TV program on Jan. 29, Çiçek said those who pressed ahead for the AKP-supported bill in 2009 are the political wing of “Fetö,” a derogatory term coined by the Turkish government to refer to the Gülen movement.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

Both Başbuğ and Çiçek were jailed as part of an investigation into Ergenekon, a clandestine organization that was once considered the “deep state” in Turkey.

The 2009 bill facilitated the Ergenekon trial.

The case was ultimately dismissed and all the defendants were acquitted. Some government officials as well as pro-government media published reports asserting that the Ergenekon trial was the work of judges, prosecutors and police officers affiliated with the Gülen movement.

“Who drafted that bill? This [issue] is completely about Fetö, and it should be investigated,” Başbuğ said.

This week Erdoğan called on the AKP deputies who served in the Turkish Parliament in 2009 to file cases against Başbuğ in order to protect the rights of parliament.

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