The controversial leader of the Gülen Movement, Fethullah Gülen, should return to Turkey and form a political party, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during his speech in the southern province of Adıyaman
Adıyaman (AA) - Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan yesterday dared the US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen to return to Turkey and form a political party. Addressing the public in a local election rally in the southern province of Adıyaman, Erdoğan criticized controversial imam Fethullah Gülen and the opposition parties.
Turkey's ruling AK Party is involved in a bitter row with a movement led by Gülen, who lives in self-imposed exile in the US state of Pennsylvania. Earlier, Erdoğan accused the Gülen movement of forming a "parallel state" plotting against his government. The feud intensified after an anti-graft operation launched on December 17, 2013, led to arrests of a number of senior figures close to the government. The government accused Gülen of orchestrating the probe. "Where is Gülen's homecountry? Is it in America? If not, why doesn't he return to Turkey?" asked Erdoğan, daring Gülen to enter politics and challenge him in the elections.
The prime minister said opposition parties CHP and MHP cooperated with the Gülen movement and conducted joint plots targeting the country. "But they made a hash of it. Now they will give an account of it. First, in election polls, next, in courts," Erdoğan said. He also mocked an alliance formed by five political parties in the southeastern city of Bitlis. The parties, including Republican People's Party (CHP), Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), nominated a joint candidate in the local elections. "40 rotten eggs do not make one fresh egg," Erdoğan said. Turkey will go to election polls on March 30 to choose their municipal leaders.
Prime Minister Erdoğan earlier called the elections as a "new struggle for independence" and asked voters to give a strong reply to the plots conducted by the "parallel state."