Turkish PM: Graft probe targets peace process
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeated his claim that the "parallel state" is trying to derail the ongoing Kurdish peace process, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
Speaking during his Justice and Development Party's (AKP) local election rally in Agri, Erdogan reiterated his rhetoric on the "parallel state," a term his government coined after the graft probe, hinting at the Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen, who is believed to have key influence in the police and judiciary.
Erdogan has long claimed that the graft probe and corruption allegations were a conspiracy against him and yesterday he said the investigation, which became public on Dec. 17, 2013, was targeting the peace process as well.
"If peace is permanent, Turkey will be unstoppable. Our economy will be unstoppable. They did not want that. That is why they wanted to topple the government and stop the [peace] process. We stood tall against those attacks," he said, adding that "the country's brotherhood can never be broken."
The state has been conducting talks with the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) Abdullah Ocalan since late 2012, in a bid to end the decades-old Kurdish conflict in the country.
Erdogan's AKP had ties with the Gulen movement until last year, but Erdogan has been burning bridges since the graft probe broke, saying the Gulenists have been "working against him and his government."
"They are sending out SMS messages, saying vote for anybody but the AKP. It was right to vote for the AKP two years ago, what changed? The AKP is the same old party. So something must be up with you," he said, referring to Gulen and his followers.