The government is caught up in a struggle against groups who try to “promote their own interests,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Nov. 30 in an apparent implicit reference to the Gülen movement’s outcry on the plan to scrap the test prep schools under a new bill on education.
“It is you, the people, and not power groups inside or outside [Turkey], other countries or circles, who will determine the direction of this country,” Erdoğan said during a mass opening ceremony in the southwestern province of Muğla.
“We are caught up in a struggle against those who promote their own personal interests, ore the ones of their own clique,” Erdoğan added, without further elaborating on the test prep schools issue.
“Whoever has a problem, he seeks a solution at the Parliament. Those who are searching for a solution outside the Parliament are mistaken. Those who search for ways outside the Parliament to have influence in decision-making processes are mistaken,” Erdoğan said.
“Nobody should be concerned about it: In Turkey it is not the ones who bang pots and pans, who raise their voices or have a lot of money, but the people who will have their say,” he added.
Slams CHP on deputy who heckled his wife
Erdoğan also slammed the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) over a deputy who heckled his wife, Emine Erdoğan, during a reception at the Japanese Embassy in Ankara last week. CHP’s Kamer Genç, one of the national assembly’s most controversial figures, shouted, “With which title are you speaking here? You don’t have any position in [state] protocol” while Emine Erdoğan was making a speech.
“To those who ask for the end of violence against women, who say that women should not be insulted: If this deputy stays in their party’s rank, they should render account on this. You can’t give political rights to women or respect them by heckling them,” Erdoğan said, adding that he would not mention Genç by his name.
“That would be rewarding him. I’m not speaking because she is my wife, but I’m seeing that my people speak about it. So I believe that they will do what’s necessary when the time comes,” Erdoğan said.
The row between the government and Gülen’s Hizmet (Service) movement deepened after the release of a National Security Council (MGK) decision in 2004. The document recommending an action plan against the Gülen movement contained the signatures of all the attendees of the meeting, including Erdoğan and President Abdullah Gül, who was the foreign minister at the time.