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    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses the war academy in Istanbul, Turkey March 28, 2016, in this handout photo provided by the Presidential Palace

    Cleric Gulen Supporters Planned to Kill Erdogan During Surgery in 2012 - Reports

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    The Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO), deemed by Ankara to be made up of the supporters of Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, attempted to murder Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a surgery in 2012, local media reported Monday, citing a confession of a FETO member to Turkish prosecutors.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Huseyin Saricicek, who participated in the 2013 corruption investigation scandal described by Erdogan as judicial coup carried out by Gulen supporters, told the prosecutors that he had overheard conversation between two other FETO members who discussed the botched attempt to murder then-Prime Minister Erdogan on the surgery table.

    "Meanwhile, I noticed that Necdet Icel [FETO member] had shouted to a 4th class police commissioner and attacked him in the garden. 'How could he not enter the operation theater? For God's sake, who woke this man up? How come he couldn't die?' he shouted," Saricicek said, as quoted by the Yeni Safak newspaper.

    He told prosecutors that he had later found out that Erdogan canceled the surgery last minute.

    The 2013 corruption scandal in Turkey erupted when telephone conversations records of Turkish senior officials were published. In response, law enforcement detained dozens of people on corruption charges, many of whom were prominent Turkish businesspeople and the children of government members. Following the scandal, several Turkish ministers resigned and some 70 high-ranking law enforcement officials were dismissed or transferred to other positions.

    The Turkish authorities suspected at the time that Gulen and his movement were behind the wiretapping and subsequent corruption scandal. A number of movement members had senior positions during this period in law enforcement and legal institutions.


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