World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday dared the US-based congregation leader Fethullah Gulen to return to Turkey and form a political party.
Addressing the public in a local election rally in the southern province of Adiyaman, Erdogan criticized Gulen and the opposition parties.
Turkey's ruling AK Party is involved in a bitter row with a movement led by Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in the US state of Pennysylvania.
Earlier, Erdogan accused the Gulen movement of forming a "parallel state" plotting against his government.
The feud intensified after an anti-graft operation launched on December 17, 2013, led to arrests of a number of senior figures close to the government, after which Gulen was accused of orchestrating the probe.
"Where is [Gulen]'s homecountry? Is it in America? If not, why doesn't he return to Turkey?," asked Erdogan, daring Gulen to enter politics and challenge him in the elections.
The prime minister said opposition parties CHP and MHP cooperated with the Gulen movement and conducted joint plots targeting the country.
"But they made a hash of it. Now they will be held accountable for it. First, in election polls, next, in the courts," Erdogan said.
He also mocked an alliance formed by five political parties in the south-eastern city of Bitlis.
The parties, including Republican People's Party (CHP), Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), nominated a joint candidate in the local elections.
"40 rotten eggs do not make one fresh egg," Erdogan said.
Turkey will go to election polls on March 30 to choose their municipal leaders.
Last Mod: 04 Mart 2014, 17:38