Çağlayan: I would understand if Jews, atheists were behind graft probe
Turkish ruling party lawmaker and former Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan has said he would understand if a Jew or an atheist were behind the Dec. 17 graft operation, questioning how a Muslim could undertake such an operation.
Speaking during a public rally on Saturday, Çağlayan, who resigned after being implicated in a highly publicized corruption operation launched on Dec. 17, 2013, said in Mersin's Tarsus district that the primary target of the corruption investigation is to halt the settlement process aimed at ending decades-old conflict between the Turkish state and a terrorist organization.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and people around him have described the investigation as a "coup against an elected government" and have vowed to "bury the allegations in the ballot box" in the March 30 municipal elections.
The former minister said the local polls has become an "Independence War" and blamed the Hizmet movement for orchestrating the operation.
"The nation sees very well what kind of mentality we are fighting against. There are many things that I can tell you. But I would understand if a Jew, an atheist, a Zoroastrian would do all these things to us. Shame on them if these things are done by those who claim to be Muslim. How can a Muslim do this?" Çağlayan was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera Turk.