Former Nationalist Movement Party’s (MHP) deputy Meral Akşener said in an interview on private broadcaster Fox TV on Sept. 19, that she will “clean up” Gülenists when her party comes to power in the next elections.
“The president [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] cannot carry out this struggle [against Gülenists]. I will clean up FETÖ,” she vowed.
FETÖ is a term coined by ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to refer to the Gülen group, accused of mounting a botched coup attempt last July.
The group denies any involvement in the attempt, however, President Erdoğan and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the group from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.
Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 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 after the coup attempt.
After current MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli aligned with the President Erdoğan on several issues, including introducing a presidential system of governance in Turkey following the Nov. 1, 2015 elections, several MHP deputies and political figures either were expelled or resigned from the party due to differences in political views with the party administration.
Adopting a critical stance against Bahçeli and standing as a candidate for party leadership against him, Akşener was expelled by the MHP disciplinary committee in September 2016 by unanimous vote.
Akşener recently announced that a new political party that is to be “neither right, nor left” would be formed under her leadership in the early fall of 2017.