May 3, 2015

MHP parliamentarian slams witch hunts against NGOs

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) parliamentarian Ahmet Kenan Tanrıkulu criticized the Manisa province police chief over the recent raids against five separate non-profits on Thursday.

Visiting İpek Media Group’s Aegean region bureau on Sunday, Ahmet Kenan Tanrıkulu slammed Manisa Province Police Chief Tayfur Erdal Ceren who spearheaded the raids. “The Manisa Police Chief has put himself in place of the entire police… He has basically conveyed that he feels no need for any democratic structures and systems in place. And acting as if he has the right to take any decision he pleases.”

In the aftermath of the raid Ceren had controversially declared “anyone from this point on who makes any type of donation will be regarded as aiding a terrorist organization.” The controversial case was viewed as another government-backed political raid and a smear campaign against those the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) perceives as an enemy.

The Manisa Workers Association (MAÇAD), the Manisa Education Volunteers Association (MEGDER), the Manisa Active Educators Association (AKED), the Manisa Millennium Public Servants Association and the Manisa Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (MASİAD) were specifically raided by dozens of police officers early on Thursday morning based on 'reasonable doubt' that they had committed crimes, in what many view as the next wave of politically motivated police operations against the Hizmet movement.

The Hizmet Movement consists of followers and sympathizers of Islamic Preacher Fethullah Gülen, who lives in self-imposed exile in the United States. Critics from across the board have slammed the government for engaging in a witch hunt against the Hizmet Movement in the past year. AK Party officials and President Erdoğan have blamed the movement for attempting to over throw the government by conducting a 2013 corruption probe, which had implicated significant figures in the government and its immediate circle. Critics have slammed this profiling as a clear attempt to cover up corruption and sway public attention.

The MHP deputy also criticized the recent scandalous arrest of two Istanbul judges who accepted a recusation and ruled for the release of Samanyolu Broadcast Group CEO Hidayet Karaca and dozens of police officers, who have been held in prison for months, on another political “terror” case.

Echoing the widely held criticism that the arrest of the judges were in total destruction of the law, Tanrıkulu expressed “this was a message of fear sent to society ahead of the June 7 general elections” implicating the governing party.

Published on BGNNews, 03 May 2015, Sunday