Erdogan claims Gulen movement cooperates with Mossad
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan dropped on Saturday yet another bombshell in his incessant fight against "parallel structure," his term to refer to the Gulen movement inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen, declaring this time that the movement is cooperating with Israel's intelligence agency Mossad, Today's Zaman reported.
In a speech dedicated almost entirely to his cause against "parallel structure" in İstanbul, Erdogan addressed "honest people at the base of the parallel structure," meaning the followers of the movement, and warned there "could be no excuse" for them "to remain under this roof."
"Honest people at the base of the parallel structure should please see whom this structure is in cooperation with," he said.
"Shame on them if they still don't see that this structure works in cooperation with Mossad," he said, without elaborating on his claim.
He said those who fail to join the fight "are doing injustice to their country, conscience and religion."
Erdogan has launched a war against the Gulen movement, or Hizmet, after a scandalous corruption investigation targeting people in his inner circle that became public with a wave of detentions on Dec. 17, 2013. Erdogan blamed police officials, judges and prosecutors he claimed are linked with Gulen movement for the investigation, which he branded as a "coup attempt."
The investigation stalled when the prosecutors overseeing the case were removed and thousands of police officials, judges and prosecutors were reassigned or removed as part of his fight against the "parallel structure" since then.
He has already alleged that the movement is a "pawn" of "foreign imperial powers" and of an obscure "greater mind" plotting to undermine Turkey but Saturday's remarks mark the first time he alleged links with the Israeli intelligence.
Gulen, based in the US, denies any link with the corruption probe.
The war against Gulen movement comes amid a rollback of reforms that alarmed both domestic critics and international rights groups.
In its annual freedoms report released last week, US-based watchdog Freedom House has stated that Turkey has drifted further from democratic reforms, with former Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan rising to the presidency and overseeing government attempts to quash corruption cases against his allies and associates as well as with greater interference in the media and judiciary.
The European Union, which Turkey aspires to join, has criticized the government handling of the corruption probe and called for transparency in addressing the graft claims.