Turkish PM Erdoğan urges countries to guard against Gülen movement

Turkish PM Erdoğan urges countries to guard against Gülen movement

Turkish PM Erdoğan urges countries to guard against Gülen movement

Turkish PM Erdoğan met with the ambassadors at the Justice and Development Party’s 7th traditional iftar meeting. AA Photo

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has urged the ambassadors of foreign countries to be careful about the activities of the Fethullah Gülen movement abroad, arguing that it is using its schools and charities as a cover-up for its “dangerous actions.”

“I would like to recall that this organization has cooperation with international intelligence organizations. There is concrete evidence for this. Therefore, I want to recall that all countries should be careful and sensitive against this organization,” Erdoğan said in his address to ambassadors at the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) 7th traditional iftar meeting.

Erdoğan listed the struggle against what he calls the “parallel state” led by Gülen, a self-exiled religious leader in the U.S., as the latest part of his government’s fight to eliminate “all kinds of mafia and gangs” over the last 12 years. He again accused the Gülen movement of attempting to stage a “judicial coup” against the government and said the organization had tried to influence the government’s foreign and domestic policies though its members within state institutions.

“This structure we call the ‘Pennsylvania organization’ is active in many countries of the world. This organization, which carries out its activities under the cover of education and humanitarian aid, is aiming to be influential through the state and politics both in Turkey and in countries where it exists,” Erdoğan said.

“We saw their true colors after they changed their intentions and objectives, and we cut all our support to them. Our struggle against this organization continues within the framework of democracy and the rule of law. We are rapidly removing this dangerous structure from the judiciary and the police department,” he stressed, adding that they had documented how the organization had illegally wiretapped and recorded people for blackmailing.

“I and my friends will continue to fight against these elements that threaten our national security for as long as I live.”

Turkey’s perception

Meanwhile, Erdoğan also touched on the deepening crisis in the Middle East, again blaming the Gülen movement for spreading the perception that Turkey is supporting terror organizations in the region.

“Claiming that we support al-Qaeda, ISIL [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] or al-Nusra is injustice. It’s not true. We regret to observe that these claims influence those who do not really know the Middle East,” he said.

The prime minister stressed the contradictions of Turkey being criticized for supporting ISIL, al-Qaeda and Iran at the same time despite the fundamental differences among all three. “For those who know the region well, all these groups are totally unlike each other. Arguments that we support all of them at the same are more than ridiculous,” he said.

“As a country that has suffered a lot from terror, it’s not possible for us to tolerate or support terror organizations,” Erdoğan added.

‘Truth telling Turkish PM is surely not loved’

Erdoğan also reiterated his criticism of the international community over the latest flare up of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

“The Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey is surely not loved; of course he won’t be loved. Where in the world are those who tell the truth loved? But we will continue to tell the truth,” he said, accusing the United Nations of being responsible for the international community’s failure to stop Israeli violence against Palestinians.

“I always ask this question to the U.N. What do you serve for? Why was this U.N. founded? To provide the world’s peace? If the U.N. can’t fulfill its job, then it should check itself. You look at the U.N. Security Council, everything is between the lips of five countries,” he said.

No normalization in ties with Israel

Erdoğan also closed the door on a potential normalization of bilateral ties with Israel under current conditions. “In the face of such incidents, do you think Israel-Turkey relations can normalize? On the one hand you will drop 400-500 tons of bombs, you will kill defenseless people and threaten global peace, and then you will talk about ‘the normalization of relations.’ This is unacceptable to us,” he said.