Turkish PM vows not to permit any coup attempt against any elected leader

Turkish PM vows not to permit any coup attempt against any elected leader

Turkish PM vows not to permit any coup attempt against any elected leader

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Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has pledged to confront any attempt by any group aiming to topple any elected leader or government in the country -- a reference to the movement of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, who allegedly attempted to bring down the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) through legal charges.

“Look, we have experienced four rallies in Konya,” Davutoğlu said in a speech delivered at a dinner hosted in his hometown, in the central Anatolian province of Konya, on Sept. 6. He was speaking hours after his government won a vote of confidence at Parliament earlier in the day.

“On March 28, two days before the [local] election, at the time, our Prime Minister – be careful, I’m not saying ‘then-Prime Minister,’” Davutoğlu said, referring to today’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. “Mr. Prime Minister who will remain as the prime minister of our hearts, but not ‘then-prime minister.’” he said.

“Nobody will ever use the adjective ‘then’ for any leader that represents the people’s will, for any prime minister or president, acting upon the example provided by Adnan Menderes. This is our commitment,” he said.

A Court established after the May 27, 1960 coup against the Democratic Party (DP) government, which was led at the time by Adnan Menderes, sentenced the toppled prime minister to death. The government frequently recalls that the Court at the time used the word “then-prime minister” for Menderes even before he was convicted.

Recently, the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office ruled that there are no legal grounds for the prosecution of 96 suspects, including Erdoğan’s son Bilal Erdoğan, who were accused by prosecutors of bribery and corruption in the Dec. 25, 2013 graft probe.

“By naming the Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey as the leader of an [illegal] organization and labelling him ‘then-prime minister’ in the summary of proceedings, those who prepared the investigation showed that they attempted to remove the government by force or prevented it from doing its full or part duties, under the disguise of a legal probe,” prosecutors İsmail Uçar, İrfan Fidan and Fuzuli Aydoğan said in the non-prosecution verdict on Sept. 1.

Erdoğan has long accused Gülen’s followers of establishing a “parallel state” by using its influence in the country’s police force and judiciary, arguing that it fabricated the vast corruption scandal.