Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announces his new cabinet in Ankara, August 29, 2014..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu suggested Sunday that rivals of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AKP party were part of the “Jewish lobby.”
Davutoglu and his fellow AKP party cohort Erdogan have long claimed that a “parallel structure” within the Turkish police and judiciary has been working to overthrow the ruling party.
Erdogan holds that Fethullah Gulen, a one-time ally of the Turkish president who has become his chief rival, is behind the plot to overthrow him. Gulen now lives in self-imposed exile in the United States.
Erdogan has long said that foreign governments are behind the conspirators, which he blames for inventing a corruption scandal against his government in 2013 and wiretapping members of his government, leaking sensitive information to the press and on YouTube.
The Turkish president has consolidated power after weakening the country’s army, which had long been a watchdog against the principles of the state being compromised.
Two weeks ago, Erdogan said that the Mossad was connected to the Gulenists, followed by Davutoglu’s comments on Sunday attributing the alleged plot against the AKP to Jews and other minorities.
In a speech to local lawmakers Sunday, Davotuglu said, “I announce it from here: We have not and will not succumb to the Jewish lobby, the Armenian lobby or the Turkish-Greek minority’s lobbies,” the Turkish daily Hurriyet reported.
“I call out to the parallel lobby that sent them a message: We will stand before you with dignity no matter where you are; you will be despicable for the treason you have done to this nation,” Hurriyet quoted Davutoglu as saying.
Erdogan last month came under fire for his claim that allies of his arch foe, Gulen, are linked to the Mossad.
He charged that “the sincere people backing this parallel structure should see with whom this structure is cooperating with.... Shame on them if they still cannot see that this structure is cooperating with the Mossad.”
If this is not treason, then what is it?” On Sunday, a Turkish court ordered the arrest of 21 police officers as part of the investigation into the illegal wiretapping of politicians, civil servants and businessmen, according to the Dogan News Agency.
Raids began in several cities as prosecutors enforced the court order, part of Erdogan’s campaign against supporters of Gulen.
Last month, a Turkish court issued an arrest warrant against Gulen on suspicion of heading up a criminal organization.
Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in the US, denies any involvement in plots against the government.