ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey’s main opposition party says the government is blocking a full investigation into last summer’s failed coup attempt and using the state of emergency imposed in its wake to hide the truth.
Bulent Tezcan, the spokesman of the Republican People’s Party or CHP, said the government was using the commemorations for the anniversary of the failed July 15, 2016, coup to “write a fabricated history.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed tens of thousands of people at memorial events in Istanbul and Ankara this weekend.
Turkey blames U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen for orchestrating a violent attempt to overthrow of the government and the president. The cleric denies the allegations.
Tezcan said inquiries into the coup were obstructed to protect the current government, which he says is using the state of emergency imposed after the failed coup to create a lawless environment without checks and balances.
“No investigations have been made into how this terror organization got to such a daring point within the state, how it was placed there to attempt a coup, and new information was covered up,” he told The Associated Press on Sunday.
The CHP lawmaker argued that prosecutors investigating the alleged infiltration of the coup plotters and their political connections were prevented from doing so due to government pressure on the judiciary. He said a parliamentary investigation commission was used to fend off political accountability.
“The facts need to come out for the sacred memory of the 250 martyrs” — those who died resisting the coup,” he said.
Under the state of emergency imposed on July 20 last year, more than 50,000 people have been arrested and 110,000 public employees sacked for alleged links to Gulen and other terror groups. The government says it is cracking down to purge state institutions and prevent future threats.
But Tezcan and his party call the state of emergency a “controlled coup” that must immediately be revoked.
In a speech late Saturday, Erdogan called the charge “rude and immoral” and accused Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the CHP, of siding with Gulen and other terror groups.
Gulen was once an ally of the president but the two had a public falling out in 2013 and his movement was declared a terror organization. Erdogan said the country was doing everything to punish the “traitors.”