Turkish PM Erdoğan slams Gülen movement as ‘spy ring entering the ruler’s harem’

Turkish PM Erdoğan slams Gülen movement as ‘spy ring entering the ruler’s harem’

Turkish PM Erdoğan slams Gülen movement as ‘spy ring entering the ruler’s harem’

PM Erdoğan has accused the Gülen movement of entering 'the harem of those who run the country.' AA Photo

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has yet again slammed the movement of the U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, this time describing it as a “spy ring” and accusing it of entering “the harem of those who run the country.”

“You cannot listen to the prime minister, the president, the parliamentary speaker or ministers. No judge can give such an order. But those, because they are a spy ring, have used all means, including eavesdropping on us,” Erdoğan said during a rally in the Black Sea province of Trabzon on March 24, entering the home stretch of a bruising electoral campaign for the weekend’s local polls.

“Think about it, they have even entered the harem of those who rule the country. They use this as a way of threatening. But whatever they are able to do, soon or later we will enter their own den,” the prime minister added.

Erdoğan, who has used increasingly tough rhetoric against the Gülen movement of late, compared his situation to former Prime Minister Adnan Menderes, executed after the 1960 coup.

“What was done to the late Adnan Menderes and what they want to do to us is the same,” he said.

He also accused parts of the media and all three opposition parties in Parliament of being “rented” by Pennsylvania, referring to the U.S. state where Gülen lives in self-imposed exile.

“Pennsylvania has rented the CHP [Republican People’s Party], the MHP [Nationalist Movement Party] and the BDP [Peace and Democracy Party], along with part of the media. He has taken under his command certain circles of businessmen. Now they are trying to knock us out,” Erdoğan said.

He particularly singled out CHP head Kılıçdaroğlu for his ire, saying he “collaborated” with Gülen after he praised the annual Turkish Olympics, which are organized by Gülen’s Hizmet (Service) movement.

“Let them all participate together in the Turkish Olympics. May they chant the slogan ‘We are Pennsylvania’s soldiers, we follow your footsteps my hodja.’ That will suit them well,” he said, ironically replacing the name of the Turkish Republic’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in the slogans with a reference to Gülen.

He also said Gülen was “deeply worried” after the AKP’s recent rallies drew huge crowds, claiming that around 2 million people participated in the March 23 meeting, which was held in the new rally area built by filling in part of the Marmara Sea.

“They probably hid that rally from the individual in Pennsylvania. Because his blood pressure will rise, that’s why they wouldn’t show it to him or say it’s a montage. It’s easy to deceive him. But if he had seen Istanbul yesterday, he would have gone weak at the knees and started to admit he had done wrong while quivering like a leaf,” Erdoğan said.

The prime minister accuses Gülen of orchestrating the graft probes against his government and conducting extensive wiretappings against top officials, including himself and his family. He has repeatedly described Gülen’s followers within the state institutions, particularly the judiciary and the police department as a “parallel state” aiming to stage a coup against his rule.