Berat Albayrak, Turkish energy minister and son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has said at a conference that people affiliated with the Gülen movement are more dangerous than Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants because they’re well educated and have “higher IQs” than his own.
Albayrak recently spoke at an event organized by Justice and Development Party (AKP) members in Gaziantep province.
“On one hand, there are uneducated people who have been fooled, who have lost their families, who have lost hope. On the other hand, there are people with higher IQs than mine, who are better-educated than me, who improved themselves. There are judges, commanders and professors among them. They also have a good level of income. However, the outcome is nothing but treason,” Albayrak stated.
The AKP government, which launched a war against the Gülen movement following the eruption of a corruption scandal in late 2013 in which senior government members were implicated, carried its ongoing crackdown on the movement and its sympathizers to a new level after a failed coup attempt on July 15 that killed 240 people and injured a thousand others.
Although the movement strongly denies having any role in the corruption probe or the coup attempt, the government accuses it of having masterminded both despite the lack of any tangible evidence.
Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.
More than 100,000 people have been purged from state bodies, nearly 70,000 detained and 32,000 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police officers, military personnel, doctors, court personnel and even a comedian.