PM Erdogan, referring to his party's victory in local elections, says Turkish nation has given him the authority to fight against 'parallel state' - reference to Gulen Movement
ANKARA - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that the Turkish nation had given him the authority to fight against the "parallel state" -- a reference to the Gulen Movement, many of whose followers are believed to work in the country's police and judicial systems.
The authority to which the prime minister referred came as a result of his party's strong showing in local elections March 30.
The Turkish Parliament opened Tuesday, and Erdogan addressed the ruling AK Party group. He said Turkey had experienced one of the most difficult election processes in its history.
He said the opposition had used unethical means in the political contest, and accused them of cooperating with national and international anti-Turkey groups.
"A dark alliance targeted the Great Turkey during the elections using terrorism, fascism, vandalism, racism, hatred and discrimination," Erdogan said, "Starting with the Gezi Park protests, certain groups plotted several operations against Turkey's stability and advancement."
Erdogan said the government would take all necessary action against those involved in plots against Turkish government.
He slammed the U.S.-based scholar Fethullah Gulen and made frequent references to the "parallel state." No action of those associated with the movement would go unpunished, he said. He said the government would take action against the Gulen movement's non-registered charities.
"We will root out all international spying activities of the parallel state and clamp down on all of its international links," Erdogan said.
He said, too, that he would not respect the Constitutional Court's ruling lifting the block on Twitter. However, the social networking site appeared to be accessible in Turkey on Tuesday.
"We never aim to restrict freedoms but we will not take hatred and racist discourse under the mask of freedom," he said.
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