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    Turk PM rules out claim party non-closure would make him a tyrant

    Hurriyet English
    27.07.2008 - 10:22 | Son Güncelleme:

    The Turkish Prime Minister ruled out the claim that he would become a tyrant if his Justice and Development Party (AKP) is not closed in the case currently before the constitutional court, in an exclusive interview with Hurriyet daily's editor-in-chief, Ertugrul Ozkok published on Sunday. Erdogan also denied that the Ergenekon case was filed as revenge against closure case. (UPDATED)

    "I don't know what the result of the case will be. I hope a decision beneficial for our country will be taken. What I can tell you is: It is impossible for me to behave with hate and animosity to my public," Erdogan said when asked his attitude on a court ruling for the non-closure of the party.

    The country's top prosecutor demanded in March a ban on 71 party officials, including Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul, as well as the closure of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) that he accused of being engaged in a systematic effort to impose Islam on Turkey. The consitutional court will begin deliberating the case, which is expected to be completed by early August.

    Erdogan also said, "Those who give this argument don't know us. The two foreigners who know us best are Sylvio (Berlusconi) and Tony (Blair). I am called Tayyip or Uncle Tayyip when I am together with the public. They don't even know Recep (Erdogan's first name)," when reminded of the claim of his beginning to behave as a "tyrant" was published in the Economist magazine.

    The Economist said Erdogan refused to consult his opponents when passing the law to allow girls to wear headscarves at universities. Critics say that his major election win turned his head and he accepted no advice and no criticism, quoting an AKP deputy and also added, "He’s become a tyrant," citing the same source.



    Erdogan also denied the claims that the Ergenekon case was a move to take revenge for the closure case filed against AKP, on Sunday, in Istanbul. "God forbid there is nothing such as this. That is a different case, this is another incident. I don't find these fabricated arguments right," Erdogan told reporters when asked if the closure case was a move of revenge.


    "I hope the case would be beneficial," he also said regarding the indictment in the Ergenekon case that was released on Friday following to the approval of the court.


    The indictment said the investigation led the officials to a terrorist organization named "Ergenekon", which has not been the subject of any criminal case previously and which has different objectives and activities when compared to other terrorist organizations.


    In the Ergenekon case, 86 defendants are charged with forming a terror group with the aim of overthrowing the government by force.


    What is more, the indictment also charges suspects, including retired army officers, anti-government journalists and intellectuals, with the allegations of “forming a terrorist organization, being a member of a terrorist organization and helping a terrorist organization."



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