World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Turkey’s Zaman newspaper of fabricating a poll regarding the upcoming local elections in an attempt to manipulate the will of voters.
Speaking in a press conference just before a planned flight to Germany, Erdogan stated that he did not believe the findings of Zaman’s poll, saying it did not correlate with other polls and that they would not be able to con voters with fake polls.
According to the poll, Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) are due to get 47.7% of the vote, while closest rivals Republican People’s Party (CHP) are due 28.5%. The National Movement Party (MHP) came third with 14.7%.
The Zaman newspaper is owned by Turkey’s Hizmet Movement, which is led by US-based congregation leader and former ally of the AK Party, Fethullah Gulen. After falling out with the government on a number of issues including the converting of prep schools into private schools, Gulen and his followers were accused of setting up a ‘parallel state’ to undermine the government.
This ‘parallel state’ is also accused of being behind the December 17 police operation against government loyalists as well as a number of operations against the Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MIT) afterwards.
Zaman newspaper writer Etyen Mahcupyan implied that 25% of Hizmet Movement members, who were previously AK Party supporters, were planning to give their votes to the opposition CHP in March’s local elections, admitting that an alliance was slowly being formed between CHP and the group.Last Mod: 03 Şubat 2014, 16:50