PM: No 'Turkish Olympics' to be held in state halls
Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that he will not let the upcoming 'Turkish Olympics', a tournament on Turkish language and literature organized internationally by the Gulen movement, to be held in state halls and stadiums, Anadolu Agency reported.
The claim came amid criticism of U.S.-based scholar Fethullah Gulen which colored Erdogan's AK Party election rally in Gulen's hometown of Erzurum, eastern Turkey.
The Turkish leader condemned judges and prosecutors linked to the Gulen movement for alleged involvement in wiretapping secret phones belonging top state officials, including the country's prime minister and president.
Erdogan stated that he felt sorry for common people linked to Gulen who are "exploited by the decision-makers of the Gulen movement". Erdogan added that the government had nothing to do with the movement's grassroots but they would "settle scores" with top figures at decision-making positions within the network.
Celebrating the Nowruz festival, which marks the beginning of spring and is commonly celebrated in Mesopotamian cultures, Erdogan called for unity among all segments of society in Turkey and a continuation of the Kurdish peace process.
Asking people of Erzurum to vote for his Justice and Development (AK) Party, Erdogan said that the upcoming vote was not just a local election but also an election in which the world would see "how powerful the AK Party is".
Erdogan called for people to vote for service and investment instead of ideologies.