In yet another of such remarks, Turkish deputy prime minister Numan Kurtulmuş targeted Gülen movement which was accused by Turkey’s government and President Tayyip Erdoğan of being behind the failed coup attempt on July 15, saying it is not different than Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Speaking at the 9th meeting of Eurasian Islamic Council in İstanbul on Tuesday, Kurtulmuş said “We can even say that Turkey’s Daesh (Arabic acronym of ISIL) is this organization.”
Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government and Erdoğan claim that the US-based Turkish scholar Fethullah Gülen, who is the inspirer of Gülen movement, was the mastermind behind the violent coup attempt that killed over 240 people and injured a thousand others on July 15, while Gülen strongly denies any involvement.
The Turkish government have designated the faith-based Gülen movement, operating charities, schools and businesses around the world, as a terrorist organization and have launched a widespread crackdown on suspected members since the failed coup.
Although Gülen called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government launched a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.
According to a report published by the German Focus magazine lin August, Turkish government members decided to put the blame for the coup attempt on Gülen half an hour after the uprising and agreed to begin a purge of Gülen followers the next day.
The German magazine wrote its report based on interceptions of phone calls by English intelligence, emails and SMS messages of members of the Turkish government.