Health minister: Gülenists attempted to poison Erdoğan
by daily sabah
ISTANBULJan 08, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by daily sabah
Jan 08, 2016 12:00 am
Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu said on Thursday that the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ), linked to the Gülen Movement, attempted to poison President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Speaking to the Bugün daily, Müezzinoğlu said the organization was closely monitoring the residence, office and private life of Erdoğan and plotted to poison the Turkish leader who served as prime minister in 2013 when a plot by Gülenists to topple his government was exposed.
The minister did not elaborate on the attempt but his remarks are viewed as a confirmation of previous rumors. Some Turkish media outlets have claimed there was an attempt to lace the meals of Erdoğan and current Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu with poison when the duo visited Istanbul. Gamze Tembel Eser, an employee of the Food Control Laboratory tasked with analysis of the food presented to Turkish leaders against possible poisoning, was found to be a suspect in an operation against Gülenists. Eser went missing after the prosecutors launched a probe into mass cheating in the Public Personnel Selection Exam (KPSS) blamed on Gülenists. She was assigned to the laboratory after she scored the highest grades in the exam, following attendance to a prep school linked to the Gülen Movement. The movement is accused of supplying questions and answers to critical exams such as the KPSS, which paves the way for their infiltration into Turkish bureaucracy, to its supporters.
Müezzinoğlu said FETÖ members were "wolves in sheep's clothing bent on toppling the state within and they succeeded in (taking over the state institutions)." The minister also called on Fethullah Gülen, leader of the movement, to return to Turkey. Gülen, who has lived in the United States since 1999, previously cited his poor health thwarting his return to Turkey. "This is just a disguise for his betrayal. We will give him all the treatment he needs here. But he should be ready to pay the price if he really betrayed this country," he said. Gülen and his accomplices face a number of trials for masterminding plots to overthrow the government and life sentences for running a terrorist organization.
Gülenists are known for infiltrating the police, judiciary and other critical posts in state institutions, allowing them to monitor the activities of the president, prime minister, ministers and other senior officials. They are accused of wiretapping phone conversations of the Turkish leadership and planting bugs in their offices.
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