Governor confesses to witch hunt, urges journalists to act as informants

BALIKESIR (CIHAN)- The governor of BalIkesir province, Ahmet Turhan, revealed on Thursday the extensive witch hunt that has been conducted by order of the government for months, as he encouraged journalists to act as informants.

Holding a press conference in BalIkesir on Thursday, in a statement Governor Turhan asked journalists to share documents and information regarding the people affiliated with the so-called “parallel structure.” President-elect and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoIan has been calling on all state officials to join him in his fight against what he calls the “parallel structure,” which he claims to be a state within the state.

“A significant number of people, I could say hundreds, have been dismissed or reshuffled,” the governor said in a statement that came as a clear confession of the witch hunt in the public sector. Governor Turhan further admitted that judging people without any trial or due process might result in unwanted consequences. Yet he called on journalists to submit any documents they might have to the prosecutor, as it is a civic duty.

According to Turhan, “as anywhere else in Turkey” there have been precautions taken against the “parallel structure” in his province as well. He acknowledged that there have been serious replacements and reshuffling within the local bureaucracy and especially the police force. He claimed that the Ankara Prosecutor’s Office had instructed them to conduct a purge of the “parallel structure.”

Prior to the presidential election on Aug. 10, a Justice and Development Party (AK Party) mayor in Hendek, a town in Sakarya province, had said that he will not let anyone affiliated with the “parallel structure” stay in his town. Governor Turhan’s similar statements serve as a manifestation of the extensive witch hunt that has been going on in the country, especially since a corruption probe that went public on Dec. 17.

Despite his confession of the existence of a witch hunt, the governor argued that they are only targeting those who commit crimes and act outside of the law. “Anyone who commits a crime bears the consequences,” the governor also added. He further argued that their decisions to reshuffle and purges conducted have nothing to do with people’s beliefs or worliews.