Erdogan accused the Gulen movement of forming a ‘parallel state’ plotting against his government
KIRIKKALE - Turkey`s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dared Gulen to challenge him in politics, while addressing people at the central Anatolian city of Kirikkale on Tuesday.
"Where is [Gulen]`s home country? Is it in America? If not, why doesn`t he return to Turkey?" asked Erdogan, daring Gulen to enter politics and challenge him in the elections.
"The opposition cooperating with the Gulen movement plan to drop AK Party`s votes in March 30 local elections below 35 % and topple the government in April," said Erdogan.
Turkey`s ruling AK Party is involved in a bitter row with a movement led by Fethullah Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in the US state of Pennsylvania.
Erdogan accused the Gulen 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 the arrests of a number of senior figures close to the government.
The government has accused Gulen of orchestrating the probe.
The prime minister said opposition parties CHP and MHP cooperated with the Gulen 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," Erdogan said.
He also mocked an alliance formed by five political parties in the south-eastern 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," Erdogan said.
Erdogan continued his local election rallies in Kirikkale after addressing the public in the southern Anatolian province of Adiyaman.
Turkey will go to election polls on March 30 to choose their municipal leaders.
Prime Minister Erdogan 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’.
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