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Turkish generals who served at NATO are in prison today, pro-Erdoğan leader boasts

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Doğu Perinçek, leader of the ultranationalist Homeland Party (VP), known for his anti-Western stance and support for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has boasted that Turkish generals who served at NATO are in prison in Turkey, referring to them as “generals of FETÖ” – a derogatory term used by the Turkish government to refer to the Gülen movement as a terrorist organization.

Speaking to the press in Turkey’s western İzmir province on Friday, Perinçek referred to Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) post-coup crackdown on Turkey’s military in which thousands of personnel were dismissed and jailed.

Perinçek voiced strong support for Erdoğan after a controversial military coup attempt took place in Turkey on the night of July 15, 2016.

According to many, the putsch was a false flag aimed at entrenching the authoritarian rule of Erdoğan by rooting out dissidents and eliminating powerful actors such as the military in his desire for absolute power.

The VP leader time and again has said the post-coup crackdown on Turkey’s military was aimed at purging the army of pro-NATO officers.

Referring to the coup attempt, Perinçek on Friday said: “[Turkey] directly faced [NATO]. … Turkey has purged FETÖ [from state institutions], to a large extent. Today, NATO generals are serving time in Turkish prisons. In my opinion, this is the most important reality of Turkey. FETÖ generals are NATO generals. Turkey has put them in jail. Turkey-NATO relations, [and] Turkey-US relations are best seen in this photograph.”

Arguing that Turkey is one of the leading states of Asian civilization, the VP leader added: “A new civilization is emerging in the world with Russia, China, Iran and India. The selfishness imposed by the Atlantic, the heavy capitalist system has come to an end. … Contemporary civilization is no longer Western civilization. … We see that US imperialism is in decline. The reign of the dollar has now collapsed in the world. ”

The failed coup killed 251 people and wounded more than a thousand others. The next morning, after announcing the coup had been suppressed, the Turkish government immediately started a wide-ranging purge of military officers, judges, police officers, teachers and other civil servants that ultimately led to the dismissal of more than 130,000 from their jobs.

After the coup attempt, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the failed putsch had created gaps in the alliance since Turkey sacked thousands of military officers over alleged involvement in the attempt.

On the night of the abortive putsch, President Erdoğan immediately blamed the Gülen movement for the attempt. He has been targeting followers of the movement, a faith-based group inspired by Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, since the corruption investigations of December 17-25, 2013, which implicated then-prime minister Erdoğan, his family members and his inner circle.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy against his government, Erdoğan designated the movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members. He locked up thousands including many prosecutors, judges and police officers involved in the investigation as well as journalists who reported on them.

Erdoğan intensified the crackdown on the movement following the coup attempt. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the abortive putsch or any terrorist activity.

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