Islamic public figure movement accused of attempted overthrow of Turkish government
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 28
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic public figure who currently resides in the U.S. is using his movement to try to overthrow the government, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc was quoted on March 28 by TRT Haber TV channel.
"This movement has changed its religious orientation and has become political," he said.
"If Gulen's movement interferes in the politics of the country, the government will fight against him using political means," Arinc added.
He also stressed that supporters of Gulen's movement will vote against the ruling party in the municipal elections to be held on March 30.
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' organisation in 2011.
It was also reported that the telephone conversations of Turkish intelligence head, Hakan Fidan were also wiretapped under these anti-terrorist operations.
Subsequently, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Gulen of directing representatives of his movement to carry out wiretapping of 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 political and illegal structure.
Earlier, the Prime Minister called on Fethullah Gulen not to meddle 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 SM