Turkey PM vows to prevent political speeches in judicial platforms

Erdogan says former elites still consider themselves the owners of the country although their time has passed

Erdogan says former elites still consider themselves the owners of the country although their time has passed

AFYONKARAHISAR – Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed on Sunday to bring measures in order to prevent politically motivated speeches to be given at judicial ceremonies.

Erdogan's statements at the closing session of a consultation meeting of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party came a day after he was embroiled in a verbal row with the country's head of bar associations, Metin Feyzioglu, at a judicial ceremony.

On Saturday, Erdogan interrupted a speech by Feyzioglu, accusing him of rudeness and of giving a politically motivated speech. In his speech, Feyzioglu questioned the government's administration of the aftermath of a 2011 earthquake disaster in the eastern province of Van.

"Feyzioglu attempted to politicize judiciary with lies and baseless remarks ... No matter what they say, we will never change our course," Erdogan said on Sunday.

He said that the country's former elites still considered themselves the owners of the country although their time had passed.

“The Turkish nation gave a stern response to the ruling elites, who had been exploiting and intimidating people for years, in the November 2002 election and those people will never be back in power again," he said.

Adding that the Justice and Development Party gave self-confidence to the nation, Erdogan said, “We as a nation of 76 million are all equal and the whole nation must know that our national anthem begins with the verse saying 'don't fear'.”

Regarding the 'parallel state' controversy, Erdogan said, “This 'parallel state' has seriously damaged our rightful cause and the security of the country. We will root out all elements of this formation from the state while remaining within the restraints of law.”

The Turkish government has accused U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen's 'Hizmet' movement of forming a shadowy network within the state mechanism, comprising bureaucrats with hidden agendas. The network is also accused of conducting illegal wiretappings of thousands of people in Turkey.

The 'parallel state' is allegedly behind a number of operations that the Turkish government says has damaged its reputation over the last three years, including a series of anti-graft probes last December targeting government allies.

Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency