Gülenists tried to poison Erdoğan: Health Minister

Gülenists tried to poison Erdoğan: Health Minister

Gülenists tried to poison Erdoğan: Health Minister

Turkish Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu AA photo

Followers of U.S.-based scholar Fethullah Gülen, a foe of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, tried to poison the president, Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu has said. 

“The Fetullahist Terrorist Organization” (FETÖ), an alleged illegal organization that the government says is led by Gülen, has closely followed Erdoğan’s official and private life, proving their attempts to poison him, reported daily Bugün on Jan. 7. 

The Bugün newspaper was formerly a Gülenist publication, but later turned into a pro-government newspaper after being seized and handed over to a board of caretakers late October 2015. 

“Those who want to do good things have always been target to such attempts,” the paper quoted the minister as saying. 

“When the president saw this, he named them Hashashis,” he said, referring to a Medieval Islamic sect, also known as the Assassins in the West, known for assassinations. 

“They developed a strategy to collapse the state from inside. They slyly managed this. They are like the wolves dressed like sheep,” he said. 

Some 69 people, including Gülen in absentia and former police chiefs, were formally put on trial on Jan. 6, accused of attempting to topple the Turkish government through the corruption investigations that went public in Dec. 2013.

Eight of the defendants were being tried under arrest. Meanwhile, Turkey has demanded the U.S. extradite Gülen, who has been residing in the U.S. since 1999.