Date posted: March 5, 2014
Government claims that the Hizmet movement forms a “parallel state” in Turkey in the wake of a corruption scandal that hit Turkey on Dec. 17, 2013, implicating Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab, three minister’s sons and other high-ranking officials close to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, are affecting Azerbaijan, which neighbors Turkey and hosts dozens of educational institutions affiliated with the movement.
According to a Monday report by Azerbaijani news website axar.az, the letter, allegedly written by Özeren to Gülen, said that the movement had set up “cadres” in Azerbaijani institutions and had been negatively affected by the recent developments in Turkish domestic politics.
In reaction to the report, which spread across traditional and social media, Özeren described the letter as “fake,” saying it had been written by people who are jealous of the great success that Turkish educational institutions have had across Azerbaijan up to now.
“What is written in that letter is slander, false and black propaganda,” Özeren said in a press conference held in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku late on Monday.
“It is already 22 years since we [Turkish educational institutions] began operating in Azerbaijan. The main aim [of the letter] is to introduce shady aspects of the Turkish political agenda into Azerbaijan. We are acting within the framework of Azerbaijan’s legislation and functioning in connection with the Ministry of Education. Our activities are known by the relevant institutions of this country,” Özeren said.
He added that he has filed a criminal complaint against those responsible for disseminating the “fake” letter, adding that legal proceedings have been started over the letter, which he said was distributed as a part of a smear campaign against the Hizmet movement.
Source: Todays Zaman , March 5, 2014