(Photo: Today’s Zaman)
December 20, 2014,
Turkish authorities carried out a large-scale operation in the weekend, detaining dozens of journalists, scripwriters and police officials after Doğan filed a complaint that the group plotted against him. A Turkish court issued an arrest warrant for Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen on Friday on charges of publicly criticizing the leader of the al-Qaeda group.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan defended Doğan and his group, accusing detained journalists and Gülen for orchestrating a plot against him. Doğan was jailed for 17 months and he was later released pending trial.
Speaking to Akif Beki, former spokesman of Erdoğan, Doğan denied any links to al-Qaeda, but said he loves bin Laden because he is a Muslim. When asked if he views bin Laden as a terrorist or not, Doğan said he doesn’t know if “his jihad is right or wrong” because he is living a reclusive life.
In another video extensively broadcast on TVs, Doğan is heard praising bin Laden and al-Qaeda. In one case, Yiğit Bulut, who is now Erdoğan’s chief aide, says “we need to cleanse Islam from this al-Qaide affiliates.”