Turkish PM says mistakes during post-coup purges against Gülen movement not deliberate

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Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim (R) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel give a press conference after their bilateral talks in Ankara on February 2, 2017. Merkel on February 2 urged Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to ensure full freedom of expression in Turkey, ahead of a crucial referendum on constitutional change. Making her first visit to Turkey since July's failed coup, Merkel held tense talks with Erdogan seeking to repair a key relationship battered by a series of crises over the last months. / AFP PHOTO / Adem ALTAN

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Thursday that mistakes made by his government during purges against followers of the faith-based Gülen movement following last July’s failed coup attempt were not deliberate.

Speaking during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday, Yıldırım said the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government is not acting out of revenge against the Gülen movement, which is accused of masterminding the failed coup despite the fact that its inspiration, US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, has strongly denied the accusations.

While Yıldırım sought more support from Berlin in the fight against the Gülen movement, German Chancellor Merkel touched on freedom of the press and the separation of powers during the press conference.

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