"We are continuing to normalize state institutions by wiping out parallel state elements," Erdogan said during an awards ceremony for Turkish scientists in Ankara. "Those who used the TUBITAK scientific center to wiretap Turkey's senior officials and for treason are a disgrace."
Turkey's scientific and technological center TUBITAK came to light in connection with the wiretapping of Turkey's senior officials, including Erdogan, who was prime minister at the time.
In December 2013, an anti-graft probe targeted several high-profile figures, including the sons of three former government ministers and leading Turkish businessmen.
The government denounced the probe as a "dirty plot" constructed by a "parallel structure," an alleged group of bureaucrats embedded in the country's institutions, including the judiciary and the police.
Since then, hundreds of police officers have been detained on charges of eavesdropping on Turkey's top officials, disclosing highly-sensitive information, forming an organization to commit crime and being a member of this organization, violating privacy, illegally seizing personal information and forgery of official documents.
Erdogan has also repeated his claim that America was discovered by Muslim sailors long before Christopher Columbus, blaming a “history that lies.”
“When I said Muslims reached America, they raised hell. But the works [the books] are there. Of course, the youth of this country can mock this notion due to a complex, instead of doing the research. We were taught a history that lies,” he said.