Erdogan: I will leave politics if AK Party not come first in local elections

Erdogan said that Turkey is not against the freedom of media but it is against illegal attempts by certain media groups

Erdogan said that Turkey is not against the freedom of media but it is against illegal attempts by certain media groups

ANKARA - Turkey`s Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan said he would leave politics if his Justice and Development (AK) Party do not come first in local elections scheduled to be held on March 30.

Erdogan told local media representatives in Ankara that the number of local media channels has doubled since 2002, which is an indication of democratization in Turkey.

"Number of local media channels has increased from 2,000 in 2002 to more than 4,000 in 2011 says the statistics. This is a clear sign of democratization in Turkey because the condition of media is an indicator of democracy in the respective state," said Erdogan.

Touching upon the freedom of press in Turkey, Erdogan said that Turkey is not against the freedom of media but is against illegal means and attempts by certain media groups.

"In England 50 journalists who wiretapped people for reporting purposes were detained, and some of them jailed. The newspaper involving in the crime was closed up by the publishing institution," said Erdogan. "But no one said that journalists are arrested in England, or there is no freedom of press in England but here in Turkey many dailies, TV channels and websites, violating the law and constitution, publish illegally recorded wiretapes or fabricated voice records and when we take action against them we are considered as a government against freedom of media."

He repeated that recent wiretappings of top political figures, media representatives and academics are carried out illegally and said that no one had the authority to wiretape the prime minister and ministers of a state.

"We are face to face with a violation of law and treason against the state. These wiretapes are totally illegal and arbitrarily recorded. The prosecutors linked to "paralel state" have wiretapped the prime minister, ministers and even president of Turkey," said Erdogan. "They have wiretapped our Energy Minister`s confidential international talks and released the wiretapes on Internet which has possibility of costing millions of dollars to Turkey."

In reference to a bureaucrat linked to US based scholar Fethullah Gulen, Erdgoan said the last deep-state gang has been unveiled and is currently being purged.

Stating that the Gulen movement attempted a coup against the government with December 17 anti-graft operations, PM Erdogan said both the Gezi Park protests and December 17 anti-graft operations in Turkey were excuses to attack the state.

"The squares of 14 provinces I have been to showed that December 17 coup attempt failed; they currently use all illegal means to keep their grassroots awake but people don`t buy it," added Erdogan.

Erdogan also slammed Gulen for supporting the oppsition and said that the U.S.-based scholar had said that even if the Angel Gabriel (Holy Spirit) descended to earth and established a party he would not support it but he is now supporting the Republican People`s Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

Erdogan also re-emphasized that they will not allow any structures and search out of politics in Turkey.

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