Influential think tank in Turkey’s ruling party accused of being terrorist organization

A criminal complaint has been filed by two lawyers against a think tank which is allegedly influential within Turkey’s ruling party with the accusation of being a terrorist organization, Gazete Duvar reported on Wednesday.

Musir Deliduman and Adem Bingol accused the group, known as the Pelicanists, of forming a criminal organization that has been allegedly using Gladio-like methods while targeting opponents.

Gladio is a clandestine army established by the NATO in the cold-war-time Europe that allegedly perpetrated false flag attacks and other crimes to sway public opinion against leftists.

“It has almost become definite that the group, called Pelicanists, is an organization to commit the crime,” said the lawyers in their complaint, referring to the remarks by some former lawmakers from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Aydın Unal, a former AKP lawmaker, had previously described the Pelican group as “at least as dangerous as the Gulen Movement” which is blamed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for a coup attempt in July 2016.

The complaint came after Erdogan’s AKP unanimously agreed on Monday to send its former leader and prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, together with three other AKP lawmakers, to a disciplinary board with the intention to dismiss them.

The Pelican clique first became known in 2016 when it released a declaration that listed the dissent points between Erdogan and then PM Davutoglu.

Davutoglu resigned from his post as prime minister shortly after the declaration, which was later called “the Pelican file” with a reference to a John Grisham political thriller.

The Pelican group was serving the aims of international powers within Turkey with the help of its staff in the media and the state, according to the complaint.

“The political crises caused by the [Pelican] organization have been creating chaos in institutions, in the country, and in the region,” the lawyers claimed.

The Pelicanists are widely believed to be centered around the Bosphorus Global think tank, chaired Suheyb Ogut, allegedly including Hilal Kaplan, a columnist at Sabah newspaper and fe, and academic Selman Ogut, Ogut’s brother.

“The people in the Pelican organization are known. They must be investigated by prosecutors and be sued as they have been organized to commit the crime,” the criminal complaint read.

AKP’s former Istanbul Provincial Head Selim Temurci, who was also sent to the disciplinary board to be dismissed from the AKP, reacted to the Pelican influence within the party.

 “The AKP … has been transformed to a state where it is legitimizing the Pelican group,” Temurci said on Wednesday, speaking to Medyascope, a web-based news broadcaster.

In August, Erdogan paid a visit to the Bosphorus Global which was interpreted by many as a sign of the Pelicanists’ continuing influence on the party and its leader.

The lawyer Deliduman is known for his complaints before the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), Turkey’s top judicial authority, against Zekeriya Oz, the controversial public prosecutor of the infamous Ergenekon trials, and Celal Kara, the public prosecutor of the December 17-25 corruption investigations.

Hundreds of people had been prosecuted on charges of membership to a secularist clandestine organization and were acquitted later on in the Ergenekon trials.

The 235 suspects were accused of a conspiracy, dating back a decade, to overthrow the Turkish government by the alleged terrorist organization.

Many of the Ergenekon suspects, who were convicted in 2013 by prosecutors close to the Gulen group, were released the following year due to a corruption investigation thought to have been launched against senior figures from Erdogan’s AKP. The verdicts in the trial were reportedly annulled for a re-trial in 2016.

The Turkish government now designates the Gulen movement as a terrorist organization and accuses its members of orchestrating the failed military coup attempt against Erdogan and his AKP on July 15, 2016.

From December 17 to December 25 in 2013, a total of 89 people were detained as part of a corruption probe, in which the governing AKP faced serious allegations of corruption.

Erdogan’s ruling AKP takes steps to expel former Prime Minister Davutoglu


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