Turkish PM slams 'parallel state'

US-based Hizmet Movement leader Fethullah Gulen has been accused of operating a 'parallel state' that has been plotting against the official AK Party government in Turkey.

Turkish PM slams 'parallel state'

World Bulletin / News Desk

A Muslim does not lay a plot against another Muslim, or against any other person, said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of Imam Hatip High Schools in Turkey, as the debate between the Hizmet Movement and the government continues to deepen.

In the ceremony, Erdogan firmly criticized the Hizmet Movement, which is led by religious figure Fethullah Gulen from his home in Pensylvania, USA.

Erdogan praised the Imam Hatip graduates, saying that they served the people of Turkey without resorting to setting up secret organizations and parallel states, thus becoming a puppet for foreign elements.

He called on Imam Hatip students to remain patient and optimistic, like they have been in the face of decades of repression in the past.

"Why should we hide underground wearing masks and live a lie when we could walk on the earth with honor?" he said.

Referring to a corruption scandal that has targeted his AK Party-led government in recent weeks, Erdogan also emphasized that he would not even spare his own children if it was found that one of them were involved in corruption.

Imam Hatip High Schools were set up all over Turkey a century ago, aiming to teach students the foundational sciences of Islamic theology in order to become officially qualified clerics, teachers, theologians and Religious Affairs Department (Diyanet) representatives.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Ocak 2014, 18:13