January 2, 2013

PM's aide: Unjust to suggest Hizmet eavesdropped on Erdogan

A political aide to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Monday that it would be “unjust” and “wrong” to associate the Hizmet movement with wiretapping devices found in Erdoğan's office.

Speaking to TV station NTV, Yalçın Akdoğan, an adviser to the prime minister and a deputy of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), said: “Some people placed those devices there. … This is a grave situation.”

Akdoğan said that when people from his party accused the deep state of being behind the wiretapping scandal, their remarks were misinterpreted by some as if they had pointed a finger at the Hizmet movement, inspired by Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

He clarified that what they had meant to indicate were deep-state gangs like Ergenekon, a shadowy criminal network with alleged links within the state that is suspected of plotting to topple the government, and not the Hizmet movement.

“It would be completely unjust and wrong to associate this situation with the movement,” he said.

The prime minister announced on a live TV program in late December that bugging devices had been found in his office at his Ankara home but did not specify the number of devices or when they were found. “Security units [the police] found those devices. They were placed inside the office of my house. Such things occur despite all measures taken to prevent them,” he stated. An investigation is under way into how the devices were planted there and by whom.

Akdoğan also spoke to the Star daily on Monday and said he would not choose a member of Ergenekon over any Islamic community. Akdoğan made this statement in response to criticism that the government has begun to downplay Ergenekon.

Published on Today's Zaman, 01 January 2013, Tuesday
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