May 22, 2015

Gülen to launch legal action against pro-gov’t Star over libel

Turkish-Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen will launch legal action against the pro-government Star daily for engaging in further attempts to libel and defame him, this time claiming that Gülen sent a coded message to some of his followers ordering them to "poison certain jurists who are overseeing an investigation into the Gülen movement."

In a written statement released on Friday, Gülen's lawyer Nurullah Albayrak said the story published in the daily has no place in a discourse rooted in morality, conscience, logic or justice, adding: "Like many other stories published by the same media outlet, this is obviously libel. […] All required legal actions will be taken against those who engage in it.”

The report in the daily claimed that Gülen issued the covert orders during a discussion of religion on May 14.

The daily also claimed that Prosecutor İsmail Uçar, despite not being a subscriber to Today's Zaman, ordered that the paper be tossed out, fearing that it might contain arsenic.

During the discussion said to have included the coded orders, Gülen emphasized the significance of being honest and of not breaching the public's rights to serve the political agenda of those governing the country.

After a corruption scandal erupted on Dec. 17, 2013, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and then-Prime Minister and current President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused the Gülen movement of instigating the probe into the corruption as part of a plot against the government.

Published on Today's Zaman, 22 May 2015, Friday