Ankara’s outspoken mayor Melih Gokcek has claimed that Fethullah Gulen, the US-based cleric accused of masterminding the coup attempt in Turkey last July, has given the order for a “new coup without tanks and artillery.”
The controversial mayor in a series of tweets on Tuesday said a group of 100 to 200 military officers – members of ‘FETO’ [Fethullah Terrorist Organisation] and others against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government – would initiate an overnight plan to execute top officials.
“FETO has ordered his followers [in the army] to collaborate with anti-AKP elements amongst military officers to initiate ‘a coup without tanks and artillery’. The plan is as follows: Raids are going to be conducted on 20 locations in Istanbul and Ankara and on 2-3 locations in other provinces between 04:00-05:00 hours targeting selected people who are then going to be executed,” Gokcek said.
The claim comes amid speculation of a rift within elements of the Turkish Armed Forces and between the army and government. President Erdogan and Chief of General Staff held an extraordinary press conference on Tuesday with the president slamming the newspaper which published the claims.
Melih Gokcek, a stauch Erdogan supporter and avid Twitter user, is regularly in the spotlight for outrageous claims. However the veteran right-wing politician, who has been in his post for 23 years is also known to represent a strand of the political establishment, which critics have sometimes called the ‘deep state’.
Gokcek recently claimed that Fethullah Gulen was plotting an earthquake to damage Turkey’s economy.