Nasuhi Güngör, a pro-government Turkish journalist who served as an executive at state-run TRT for three years, has refuted an assertion in a book he wrote that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with Fethullah Gülen, a US based Turkish cleric, in the early 2000s to seek his blessing for his Justice and Development Party (AKP), after Erdoğan denied an allegation made by Republican People’s Party (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnce based on the book.
“I am sorry to admit that these claims that I personally wrote cannot be taken as fact,” Güngör tweeted.
“I can’t allow damage to be done to the fight against FETÖ [Gülen network] and Mr. President’s uncompromising efforts to do so by a baseless rumor that I penned years ago,” he added.
The CHP’s İnce on May 25 said Erdoğan went to the US in 2001 just before founding his AKP, meeting with Gülen to ask for his blessing. İnce also stated that he had a witness who was a close friend of Erdoğan.
Erdoğan angrily responded that he never went to Gülen’s retreat in Pennsylvania and only admitted to seeing Gülen face-to-face in İstanbul a few times before Gülen went to the US.
At a rally in Kırşehir on Wednesday İnce finally provided details about his allegation, based on a book titled “Yenilikçi Hareket” (Reviving the Movement) by Güngör.
İnce said Güngör had been friend of Erdoğan’s since becoming an executive for TRT. (turkishminute.com)