Denying earlier remarks, Erdoğan says never been deceived in political life

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ANKARA, TURKEY - MARCH 23 : Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan delivers a speech during Members of Balkan Federation meeting at Bestepe National Congress and Culture Center in Ankara, Turkey on March 23, 2017. AFP

In remarks that contradicted two earlier statements, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Wednesday that he has never been deceived by anybody in his political life.

Speaking at one of his regular meetings with muhtars [neighborhood heads] in the presidential palace in Ankara, Erdoğan said: “In my political life, I have never been deceived or deceived anybody. From now on, we will continue not to be deceived and not to deceive anybody.”

However, in a speech he made at the War Academies Command in March 2015, Erdoğan said he was deceived about the Ergenekon and Sledgehammer coup trials, as part of which senior military officers and generals stood trial on coup charges.

“In these operations, the entire country, being mainly myself, was manipulated, deceived,” he said back then.

He made a similar statement about the faith-based Gülen movement in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt on July 15. Erdoğan accuses the movement of masterminding the coup attempt; the movement strongly denies the accusation.

He said he should not have allowed followers of the Gülen movement to assume important jobs in the state.

“I need to confess this. We have been a victim of our goodwill,” he said.

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