Baku, Azerbaijan, March 20
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
The wiretapping of telephone conversations of state officials and members of their families in Turkey is regarded as espionage, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on March 20, Turkish channel TRT Haber reported.
"The country's government will take all possible measures to identify the persons involved in the illegal wiretapping of state officials' telephone conversations," he added.
While speaking about Fethullah Gulen's movement [an Islamic public figure who currently resides in the U.S], Erdogan said that a state organization is operating in Turkey. Some members of its staff are under the influence of Gulen's supporters.
On Feb. 25, several Turkish media outlets said the telephone conversations of some 7000 people close to the country's ruling party, opposition parties and Prime Minister's family members, were wiretapped as part of an anti-terrorist operation against members of the 'Salam' organization in 2011.
It was also reported that the telephone conversations of Turkish intelligence head, Hakan Fidan were also wiretapped under these anti-terrorist operations.
After this, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Gulen of that, namely representatives of his movement stand behind the wiretapping of the phone conversations.
Erdogan also stressed that Gulen's movement (which he earlier called a 'parallel structure') with its anti-state activities proved that it is not a religious movement, but a politicized and illegal structure.
Earlier, Prime Minister called on Fethullah Gulen not to intervene in Turkey's internal affairs and accused the U.S. of supporting him.
Additionally, it was earlier reported that the member of the Council of the ruling Justice and Development Party of the country, Mazhar Bagli said that the actions of Gulen and his supporters are aimed at undermining the country's national interests.
Gulen is the founder of Hizmet public movement, as well as the Turkish Journalists and Writers Foundation.
Translated by NH
Edited by CN