Turkey’s Koç: I met with Gülen; there is nothing wrong with that


Date posted: March 2, 2014

İSTANBUL

The CEO of one of Turkey’s largest conglomerates confirmed on Sunday that he met with prominent Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen in May, but dismissed government claims of conspiracy plots.

Mustafa Koç has come under fire by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan before, for allegedly “conspiring with foreign actors and Gülen to topple the ruling Justice and Development Party [AK Party].” In an interview with the Turkish daily Hürriyet, the successful businessman said there is nothing wrong with meeting leading actors in social and economic fields, adding that people should stop using this as a tool for defamation campaigns.

“I met Gülen during a trip to the United States in May; earlier claims that we are part of a foreign-backed plan to destroy the power structure of the current government and design a new system of rule in Turkey are baseless,” Koç asserted. Erdoğan has been at odds with Koç since last summer’s nationwide Gezi Park protests, when Erdoğan accused Koç of sponsoring anti-government protests. Koç companies previously faced a government crackdown over allegations of tax fraud, and a recent illegally recorded phone conversation alleging that Gülen had sent Koç “valuable” gifts has led to increased government pressure on Koç.

In one of the illegally recorded phone conversations, Mustafa Günay, the secretary-general of the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON), is heard telling Gülen that he had sent Ugandan pineapples to businessmen, including Koç, as gifts. Günay was also consulting Gülen about a tender for a refinery in that country, saying a Turkish company — Koç Holding, if possible — should enter it.

“Yes, I received a box of pineapples from Uganda and I must say they were really delicious. Later, I called them [TUSKON] and thanked them for the gift,” Koç told Hürriyet. In reaction to some who alleged that “pineapple” was a code word for diamonds, Koç said those statements are untrue.

Koç said he once traveled to Africa with TUSKON members, which was seen as a big issue by some circles. “There is nothing more normal than this; we are businesspeople,” he said. TUSKON, the biggest business organization in Turkey, has connections all around the world and its member companies are at the forefront of trade with Africa. There was no Turkish embassy in Uganda when Turkish entrepreneurs first went to the country 11 years ago to open schools. “I am personally in close contact with business confederations like the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association [TÜSİAD] and TUSKON, and we have always remained out of politics. We have business ties in Africa; our group made serious investments in South Africa in 2011 and people should be happy to see a Turkish firm investing in Africa instead of fabricating conspiracies,” Koç said, without naming Erdoğan directly.

Meanwhile, Gülen has filed criminal complaints against a number of people who illegally wiretapped his phone conversations with friends, as well as against media outlets and websites that published defamatory, distorted voice recordings of Gülen.

Source: Todays Zaman , March 2, 2014


Related News

EU expresses concern over declaration of Gülen movement as terrorist without due process

Maja Kocijancic, Spokesperson for European Union Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has responded a question by Turkish Minute, stating that the EU notes with concern the decision taken by the Turkish National Security Council (MGK) to include the movement of the U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen on the list of Turkish terrorist organizations.

More evidence Erdogan behind coup

While the narrative voiced by Erdogan and echoed by the Turkish press blamed Gülen exclusively, many Turks and diplomats quietly harbored suspicions that Erdogan planned and staged the coup himself as a Turkish equivalent of the Reichstag Fire. That may once have sounded like a fringe conspiracy, but increasingly it seems the likely genesis of events last July.

Erdogan caught off guard in latest political crisis

Nobody thought Turkey’s powerful Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan would be caught so off guard — not after last summer’s Gezi Park protests — as he apparently was before the major graft probe, which involves four of his ministers, including the minister of interior and his sons. It is clear he sees a “shadow state” behind the operation and holds the Gulen movement responsible. Indications are Erdogan intends to “strike back” with a massive purge within the police.

Turkey’s Corruption Probe, And One Question For Erdogan

Figures close to the leading Justice and Development Party (AKP), including sons of cabinet members, are facing serious allegations of bribery and money laundering. The government is denying all accusations and claims the charges are part of a conspiracy with roots both foreign and domestic.

Gülen extends condolences to MHP over official’s death

Prominent Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who also inspired the faith-based Hizmet movement, issued a message of condolence to Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) officials regarding the death of the party’s media adviser, Cengiz Yücel Akyıldız, who was killed during an attack outside a party office on Sunday.

Erdogan critic calls jailing of his mother and brother ‘perverse’ and ‘politically motivated’

A high-profile critic of the Turkish government has described the jailing of his 75-year-old mother and brother to a combined 91-year sentence as “ludicrous” and “perverse”. Akin Ipek said the ‘human rights abuses’ against his family were unacceptable in any civilised country.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Fethullah Gülen: Inspirer of Multi-disciplinary Studies

Minister: Turkey confiscated $4 bln worth of Gülenist property

This notable Pocono resident has been living here in exile since 1999

Kimse Yok Mu lends helping hand to 3,000 orphans in 4 countries

Pregnant woman kept in prison for 4 months over Gülen links despite regulations

The Future of Islamic Civilization in A Globalizing World

Guinean MFA: Our People Fond of Turkish Schools

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News