Parties respond to Gülen debate in Turkey
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
DHA PhotoSelf-exiled Islamic leader Fethullah Gülen should return to Turkey, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan suggested last night without directly mentioning the controversial religious figure by name.
“We want this yearning to end,” Erdoğan said. “We want to see those who are abroad and longing for the homeland among us.”
Erdoğan’s remarks came after he was granted a special award during a ceremony marking the end of the Turkish Olympics, an event that is connected to the Gülen movement.
Gülen has been living in Pennsylvania for 13 years.
Details will follow.
Parties respond to Turkish PM's Gülen remark
Deputy prime ministers Bülent Arınç and Bekir Bozdağ both put their weight behind Erdoğan's remarks.
"[Erdoğan] was hesitant before when I mentioned my desire for [Gülen's return]," Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said. "He didn't want it to cause any distress in the country. But now even the opposing sides know Fethullah Gülen is innocent. He is a lover of Turkey, a man that holds this land above anything. I hope the prime minister's wish becomes reality. We would love to greet Gülen here in Turkey."
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ also described Gülen as a national asset.
"Turkey's assets should be in Turkey. Our wish is for this longing to end," Bozdağ said.
The prime minister's remarks, however, failed to move the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), with party member Oktay Vural telling daily Hürriyet that it would be absurd to discuss the return of an individual who is already a Turkish citizen.
"There is no need to question his return," Vural was quoted as saying. "If he wishes to return, he is capable of knowing his options."