Turkey: Erdogan invites preacher to join detainees

President Erdogan has invited a controversial U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gulen to Turkey to join his alleged team that was detained in a probe

Turkey: Erdogan invites preacher to join detainees
World Bulletin/News Desk
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan invited Wednesday a controversial U.S.-based preacher to Turkey to stand together with his alleged team that was detained related to a probe recently.

Erdogan made the remarks in a speech at an event to inaugurate a high speed train between Turkish provinces of Konya and Istanbul.

Addressing the preacher Fethullah Gulen and his so called Gulen movement directly, the president said: "Nobody prevents you from coming to Turkey. If you want to stand together with your team, you are welcome in Turkey."

He termed the U.S.-based preacher’s movement a tool in the hands of international players. "We won’t handover Turkey to tools, networks of betrayal, proxies of international circles or buffoons under religious scholars’ mask," he said.

The president again criticized the EU for its stance on the ongoing investigation on senior media and police officials in Turkey.

"EU cannot teach democracy to Turkey, but Turkey can do that to EU…Turkey can give a lesson on democracy because of its principled stance on the Egypt coup, Syria," the president said.

Federica Mogherini, the European Commission’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, recently described the police operation as going against European values.

A police operation was launched Sunday against senior media figures and police officers in 13 provinces across Turkey for allegedly being affiliated with what the Turkish government described as the "parallel state," an alleged group of bureaucrats embedded in the country's institutions, including the judiciary and the police. More than 20 suspects were taken into custody in the operation, including the editor-in-chief of Turkey’s Zaman daily, Ekrem Dumanli; chairman of Samanyolu Media Group Hidayet Karaca; producer Salih Aslan; director Engin Koc of Samanyolu TV, and Makbule Cam Alemdag, a scriptwriter of a TV series.

In December 2013, an anti-graft probe targeted a number of high-profile figures, including the sons of three former government ministers and leading Turkish businessmen.

The government had denounced the probe as a "dirty plot" constructed by the "parallel state."

Since then, hundreds of police officers have been detained on charges of eavesdropping on Turkey's top officials, disclosing highly sensitive information, forming and belonging to an organization to commit crime, violating privacy, illegally seizing personal information and the forgery of official documents.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Aralık 2014, 21:54