Former president insists he was not informed of visit to Gülen in 2013
AFP PhotoFormer Turkish President Abdullah Gül has insisted that he was not informed of a visit of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who was foreign minister at the time, to U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen in 2013.
“My mind is clear. As I was not informed about the visit beforehand, it is not possible for me to forget it, as I shared my discomfort over the issue after I learnt about it,” veteran journalist Fehmi Koru cited Gül as saying in his column published in daily Habertürk on May 5.
An official temporarily working in the presidential office told Gül about Davutoğlu’s visit to Gülen after he returned to Turkey, Gül reportedly said, adding that Davutoğlu might mistakenly think he was aware of the visit because an official from the presidency accompanied Davutoğlu during the trip.
Daily Milliyet on April 30 reported Davutoğlu as saying he had visited Gülen in October 2013 “with the knowledge of” then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and ex-President Gül.
“In a place where the president is present and as the foreign minister, I would not go anywhere … without getting permission from him or without informing him. This is a principle that I have embraced as part of state morality,” Davutoğlu was quoted as saying on May 3 during a visit to Germany.
His remarks came as he was elaborating on his 2013 visit when he travelled from New York where he had attended a U.N. General Assembly meeting accompanying then-President Gül to Pennsylvania, where Gülen has lived in self-imposed exile since 1999.
Davutoğlu reiterated that he had told Gül beforehand that he would visit Gülen.