Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu hosted correspondents from the Gülen Movement-affiliated Yarına Bakış daily in his office at CHP headquarters on Monday.
Speaking during the visit, he appeared with the Gülenist journalists and avowed that the CHP will work toward alleviating the current process through hard work. Some interpreted the incident as a blatant move that shows the party cooperates with the movement.
The Gülen Movement, led by Fethullah Gülen, who resides in self-imposed exile in the U.S., is seen as a national threat to the state by the government, who accuses it of wiretapping thousands of individuals, including senior government officials, and allegedly infiltrating state institutions to overthrow the government.
There has been speculation circulating in the media that the Gülen Movement is cooperating with the CHP to bring their powers together in a bid to defeat the Justice and Development Party (AK Party). Allegations of their alliance first surfaced around the time of the local elections on March 30, 2014, and are now raising an increasing number of eyebrows as more developments supporting the claims are disclosed.
The CHP, during this period of alleged partnership, has become the target of both AK Party officials and the party's grassroots. When she spoke out against this alleged cooperation, Birgül Ayman Güler, a former CHP İzmir deputy, was referred to the party's disciplinary committee. Following the incident, she resigned from the party in January 2015.
In the next month, a committee from the CHP paid a visit to Silivri Prison, where senior Gülenist figure Hidayet Karaca is jailed. Karaca was jailed following an operation on Dec. 14, 2014 for his alleged attempt to crush a rival religious group through illegal means. The meeting between the committee and Karaca reportedly lasted three hours. Following the meeting, Ali Özgündüz, a member of the CHP who took part in the visit, shared a message on his Twitter account which read, "Karaca said they [Gülenists] had once made mistakes."