Implicated interior minister fires off parting shot during handover
Muammer Güler waves as he leaves the Interior Ministry building in Ankara following the handover ceremony, Dec. 26. AA photoInterior Minister Muammer Güler, who submitted his resignation Dec. 25 after his son was investigated for bribery and corruption in a graft probe that has gripped the country, rebuked what he called an “operation against the government” in a farewell speech.
“Some attempts have been made against the [Kurdish] resolution process. I emphasize the importance on continuing insistently on the resolution process,” Güler said during a handover ceremony to his successor, Efkan Ala.
“The public knows the objective with which this operation was carried out. My last words will be [to express] that I wish it would have been others who stabbed us. I don’t give them my blessing,” he said, implicitly referring to the movement of Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, whose followers hold key positions in the police, judiciary and secret services and are widely believed to have launched the investigation.
The graft probe that has shaken the government also exposed a bitter feud between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Gülen Movement, which was particularly rekindled after an initiative to close test prep schools.
Ala, who is not an elected lawmaker but served as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s undersecretary and is considered one of his closest aides, vowed to “solve all the problems.”
“Attacks against political stability after a period marked by rapid development are normal. Our concern is the cost for our citizens. We haven’t pledged a Turkey without problems, but a Turkey that can solve its problems,” Ala said.
Twenty-four people have been arrested under the corruption investigation that hit Turkey last week, including Güler’s son Barış Güler after cash and money counters were found at the latter’s house.
The minister had said the cash found in his son’s apartment was part of the money that they received following the sale of a house.