An investigation has been launched into 18 residents of a village in Mersin’s Mezitli district after the muhtar, or neighborhood head, filed criminal complaints against them on allegations of being members of FETÖ, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) as well as insulting the president, according to a story in the Cumhuriyet daily on Saturday.
FETÖ is a derogatory term used by government circles to refer to the faith-based Gülen movement.
Cemilli village muhtar Halil Bağcı filed criminal complaints against the villagers at the Mersin Public Prosecutor’s Office in September, claiming that some of the villagers had links to FETÖ, some had links to the PKK and some had links to the DHKP/C, while some of them used insulting statements in reference to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
When the villagers became aware of the complaints filed by the muhtar, he wanted to withdraw his complaints, but the prosecutor’s office refused and initiated an investigation into the 18 villagers.
After police officers arrived to talk to the villagers about the allegations, the villagers told them that the muhtar was making slanderous accusations against them because they did not support him in the elections.
The villagers also filed a criminal complaint against the muhtar on charges of slander.
President Erdoğan, who regularly meets with muhtars at his presidential palace in Ankara, frequently tells them to collect information about the residents of their villages and report them to the authorities if they are involved in criminal acts.