Davutoğlu says he urged Gülen in person to stop conspiring against AKP
AFP PhotoPrime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said he met with Fethullah Gülen in person in 2013 in the United States to urge him to stop conspiring against his government and to return to Turkey, in a last call to the self-exiled Islamic scholar.
“We had intelligence reports and we were aware of their [the Gülenists] targets. We knew what they were planning. We wanted to make a last attempt, a last call, just like when you feel the coming of a storm. We called him to stay within legitimate boundaries and to return to Turkey,” Davutoğlu told the daily Milliyet April 30.
He said he met Gülen in Pennsylvania, three months before the massive corruption and graft operation against senior officials of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) that kicked off a major struggle between the Gülen community, deemed to be the “parallel structure,” and the government. The government’s crackdown on the parallel structure has recently intensified after a prosecutor labeled the Gülen community a terrorist organization.
Davutoğlu said his meeting with Gülen was done with the knowledge of former President Abdullah Gül and then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. “It was a well-intentioned move to see whether we could keep them within the limits of civil society. The issue was that they could have turned into an organization under the influence of foreign countries and their secret services. That’s why we invited them to Turkey,” he said.
“It’s not the time,” was Gülen’s response, according to Davutoğlu. “Today I understand by his ‘not now’ response that he was in fact waiting for the coup that will be staged in December. He was planning to return to Turkey like Khomeini’s return to Iran,” said Davutoğlu.
Davutoğlu made his statements after his meeting with Gülen was reported by pro-Gülenist media. “They are very interested in recording everything. They should reveal their recording. I have never lied in my life,” he said, adding he was received very warmly by Gülen and his aides during the meeting.