Fethullah Gülen, the head of the shadowy Gülen Movement, allegedly smeared Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli and praised MHP dissident Meral Akşener in casual talks with a close circle of supporters, according to an indictment prepared by the Isparta Prosecutor's Office.
In an indictment prepared on the structure of the Gülen Movement in Isparta province, Gülen allegedly took on Bahçeli as an enemy, speaking ill of him. "Bahçeli and his team drive people away from religion. He is quite a hypocrite [in terms of religion]," Gülen was quoted as telling a close circle of supporters.
Gülen allegedly called Akşener "a decent person," asserting that she should have been made interior minister in the past.
It is speculated that the Gülen Movement has targeted the MHP chairmanship through Akşener's candidacy.
Bahçeli claimeda candidate being the political tool of the movement in December 2015, saying: "[T]here is one candidate who joined the MHP as a political figure of the Fethullah [sic] Gülen Movement."
Even though Bahçeli did not name the "political tool," Akşener quickly dismissed the claims about her being the "tool." "I have no connection to the Gülen Movement. I would proudly have said if I did," she contended.
Bahçeli said: "[The goal] … is to turn it into an 'operational party' by using our movement in accordance with their political interests and dragging it into the streets," and claimed the Gülen Movement is trying to seize the nationalist party.