Gülenist wiretapping began after Davos incident: interior minister
Erdoğan had stormed out of the World Economic Forum panel on the Gaza war on Jan. 29, 2009, by protesting the moderator while trying to stop his intervention.Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala said at a party meeting on May 11 that the Gülen movement started wiretapping and collecting information about the government after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stormed out of a heated debate on Gaza in Davos five years ago.
Turkish television NTV reported Ala’s remarks at his ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) 22nd Consultation and Assessment Meeting in the western province of Afyonkarahisar. The two-day annual meeting, which is scheduled to end on May 11, is closed to the press except Erdoğan’s opening and closing speeches.
“The Gülen community started to collect information about us after the ‘One Minute’ incident in Davos,” NTV quoted Ala, who pointed to Nov. 1, 2009, as the starting date of this activity, while also referring to Erdoğan’s walkout and the Mavi Marmara incident as “turning points” in the government’s relationship with the Gülen movement.
Ala stressed the Constitution must be amended “for this struggle,” in reference to the government’s fight against their ally-turned-nemesis, the Gülen movement.
Erdoğan had stormed out of the World Economic Forum panel on the Gaza war on Jan. 29, 2009, by protesting the moderator while trying to stop his intervention, yelling “One minute” and slamming the fellow debater Israeli President Shimon Peres, too.
More than a year after the Davos incident, Israeli naval commandos raided the Mavi Marmara on May 31, 2010 in the international waters of the Mediterranean Sea, killing nine Turkish activists on the ship that was carrying humanitarian aid and construction materials, with the intention of breaking the Israeli-Egyptian blockade on the Gaza Strip.
The rift between the government and the Gülen movement was crystalized on Dec. 17, 2013, when massive graft investigations initiated by allegedly Gülenist prosecutors and police chiefs.
Thousands of people, including Erdoğan, national intelligence chief Hakan Fidan and a wide range of journalists, academics, business leaders and nongovernmental organization representatives, have been wiretapped for years by the police as part of different probes, Turkish media claimed Feb. 24.
Some 425 inspectors are investigating 198 illegal eavesdropping cases believed to be carried out by Gülenists, Ala said last month.
U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, the leader of the movement, was charged by Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office of attempting to overthrow the government on April 30, hours before an espionage probe was launched in Ankara into claims that sensitive data from the Telecommunications Directorate (TİB) was leaked to foreign countries via satellite.