February 3, 2015

Turkish deputy PM appalled by reporter’s awkward Gülen question

With the eyes open wide, Turkish deputy prime minister was shocked and appalled by a reporter's question on Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen during a bi-weekly news briefing on Monday.

The reporter said her question will be "out of the agenda" and she wants to ask about Bülent Arınç's comments on reports that Gülen may have died in 2013. Upon hearing half of the question, Arınç was surprised: "Who did you say died?"

"Gülen" she replied. She cited media reports that said Gülen possibly died in September 2013, but the movement he is leading tried to cover up his death so that his followers don't fall apart.

"Are you serious with this question?" Arınç asked the reporter. He said this is the first time he is heard of such a rumor. When he questioned her source, the reporter said he read the story from the newspaper called "Ege'nin Sesi" (Voice of Aeagen). Arınç said he is from the region, but he has not heard of this newspaper before. He quickly brushed off the question and said he doesn't trust on the source. "I don't find this serious," he added.

The awkward question continued to puzzle Arınç later in the press conference as he forgot the second part of another question asked by a separate reporter. He blamed his confusion to the question about Gülen. He then started laughing and told his assistant to get his pills ready because "that lady devastated me."

Published on Today's Zaman, 2 February 2015, Monday