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Turkey’s political parties hit each other with coup allegations

The Justice and Development Party government and its supporters are using a Republican People’s Party lawmaker's comments to steal the main opposition party’s thunder.

Mustafa Akaydin, a member of parliament with the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), allegedly said Aug. 7 that the failed putsch of July 2016 was “theatrics” and that “the state [actually] killed the 250 martyrs” who were resisting the takeover. Akaydin reportedly questioned how the Turkish air force’s highly trained F-16 pilots, who played a prominent role in the plot, could bomb the parliament building but not cause significant damage. He repeated CHP chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu’s claim from earlier this year that the coup was “controlled” — meaning the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government knew about the plan in advance and allowed it to take place for political gain.

Per news reports, Akaydin also added that the commemoration ceremonies for those who died fighting the coup are meant to replace the memory of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and the national struggle he led from 1919 to 1922 that culminated in the founding of Turkey as a republic in 1923. Through these public displays of patriotism, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is trying to replace Ataturk as the pre-eminent leader of modern Turkey.

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