May 13, 2015

Gülen’s lawyer: Pro-gov’t columnist’s claims on Diyanet ‘disgusting scenario’

The lawyer of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has strongly denied allegations by a pro-government columnist, who argued that the Gülen movement is behind recent “attacks” on the Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet), saying the baseless claims are a part of a “disgusting scenario to divide the nation.”

Fethullah Gulen’s lawyer, Nurullah Albayrak
Fethullah Gulen's lawyer Nurullah Albayrak seen in a file photo taken in 2014.

Gülen’s lawyer, Nurullah Albayrak, issued a statement in response to an article by by pro-government Star daily columnist Nuh Albayrak, who argued on Wednesday that after the government began not responding positively to demands of the Gülen movement on issues related to the Religious Affairs Directorate, the movement launched a war against the institution and its head, Mehmet Görmez. The columnist claimed that the movement, which he refers to as the parallel structure -- a term coined by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to crush the Gülen movement-- is behind recently increasing criticisms of the directorate by the opposition as well.

He further argued that the movement, even personally Gülen, wanted to prevent the employment of Professor Kemalettin Özdemir, a former member of Hizmet, at the directorate by telling Görmez that the professor has “inappropriate relations” with women.

The columnist also claimed that former intelligence unit chief Ramazan Akyürek, who was dismissed by the government over his alleged closeness to the movement, sent an intelligence officer to Görmez’s to show him an inappropriate video of Özdemir.

Albayrak said the “slanderous” article is far from realities and that it is a part of an “ugly scenario which aims to divide people and make them come face to face.”

“This article shows that some politicians want to use religious arguments and rumors of [sex] tapes as topics ahead of the [June 7] elections,” Albayrak said.

Albayrak stressted that none of the quotes attributed to Gülen in the article are true, adding that legal action will be immediately taken against those who voiced these claims.

Akyürek’s lawyer calls on Görmez to tell the truth

Akyürek’s lawyer also issued a statement on Wednesday to deny Albayrak’s allegations. Lawyer Adnan Şeker said the parts of the article which are related to his client are all “slander.” Şeker also called on Görmez to announce that the claims are not true, saying otherwise he would be a part of this campaign of slander.

Published on Today's Zaman, 13 May 2015, Wednesday