Turkish ministers split by Gülen remarks on Gaza flotilla
ANKARA - Hürriyet | 6/6/2010 12:00:00 AM |
Comments from religious leader Fethullah Gülen on the Israeli raid on the Gaza aid flotilla have continued to divide Turkey’s ruling party.
Comments from religious leader Fethullah Gülen on the Israeli raid on the Gaza aid flotilla have continued to divide Turkey’s ruling party, as the country’s deputy prime minister and culture minister offered Saturday differing interpretations on the matter.
“What has been done is despotism; committing murder by ending the lives of those beautiful people,” Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said. “This is piracy. Our [Foreign Affairs] Minister said this is banditry at the UN Security Council with all his power. Now, they ask me what the speech of the respectable Master Hoca [Gülen] means. The Master Hoca speaks the truth as always.”
Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay, meanwhile, said: “So it seems that things are perceived in that sense when looked at from afar. When you live it within, it is perceived as we do.”
When asked whether Gülen made this evaluation because he resides in the United States, the minister said, “I do not know.”
Gülen, a Turkish religious leader living in Pennsylvania, said last week that the tragedy occurred because the activists failed to seek an agreement with Israel before approaching Gaza.
Gülen also said, “[The delivery was] a sign of defying authority, and would not lead to fruitful outcomes."