Purging Gülenists from state apparatus will be expanded, Erdoğan says
In his first reaction to the raids – in which over hundred officers have been taken into custody for illegal wiretapping -- Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hinted that the anti-Gülen probe would widen.
"We are currently watching. We will all see what will come out of this," he told reporters at the Turkish parliament. Asked if the drive to purge Gülenists from the state apparatus would be expanded, he replied "It looks like it, of course, of course."
In a television interview on Monday, Erdoğan vowed bitterly that the fight against the Gülen movement would continue "non-stop" while calling on the United States to extradite the exiled cleric from his base in Pennsylvania. "I expect the United States to take a stance on the Gülen issue," Erdoğan said.
Furthermore, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç had also stated that operations against Gülenists would continue in other bodies of the state. He added that there would be no peace with the movement before the government holds all state-infiltrating persons accountable and that these people should give up having dreams of controlling the state and seek forgiveness from the government they tried to topple.
Prime Minister Erdoğan has accused supporters of Gülen of holding excessive influence in the country's police and judiciary and of concocting the graft scandal to unseat him ahead of local elections in March.
After 11 years in power which has seen his government tame the influence of the once-powerful military, Erdoğan has declared a war against Gülen, accusing him of running a structure placed within the state.
Prime minister also accuses the Gülen movement of being behind a series of montaged recordings posted on the Internet suggesting corruption by the prime minister and his family members. The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) issued a report on recordings, stating that the tape recordings posted on social media platforms allegedly belonging to the prime minister and his family were fabricated by electronically cutting and pasting different syllables from different speeches under a single pool of voice recordings.