The Islamic scholar, Fethullah Gulen who has been accused by Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan of being behind the corruption investigation launched on 17th December, has sued the prime minister for making allegedly “denigrating and insulting” comments.
Lawyers representing Gulen who lives in self-imposed exile in the US filed a complaint demanding TL100,000 for damages.
PM Erdogan has frequently pointed a finger at Gulen’s Hizmet movement for masterminding the corruption investigations which involved three ministers whose sons were detained after raids that took place on 17th December last year. The resulting scandal has caused upheaval in the government and lead to a massive Cabinet reshuffle late last December. Gulen has denied any involvement in the investigations.
Gulen’s movement also denounced the government for sacking or reassigning hundreds of police officers and prosecutors as a response to the graft probes.
Media outlets allied to the movement have also harshly criticised the prime minister for using “hate speech” and making them become targets.
The Gulen-affiliated Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV) yesterday called on President Abdullah Gul to intervene in order to prevent “an important part of society from being subjected to political and social lynching”.
Gulen was formerly an ally of the ruling AKP party, however open conflict arose after the government moved to close down prep schools (dershanes, part of the Hizmet movement) in November, 2013.