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Turkey launches probe into attempt on life of Erdogan’s daughter

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s daughter, Sumeyye

Prosecutors in Turkey have started an investigation into media reports that the top foe of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has ordered an assassination plot against his daughter.

Ankara State Prosecutor's office initiated the probe on Friday after pro-government newspapers Star, Aksam and Gunes claimed that US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen has ordered 29-year-old Sumeyye Erdogan’s assassination and that Turkey's opposition party supported the plot.

The chief prosecutor's office in Ankara deemed the reports as a "tip-off."

The dailies made their claims based on alleged Twitter messages between Umut Oran, a legislator from the main opposition Republican People's Party, and Fuat Avni, a government whistleblower.

The allegations have been strongly denied by Gulen's lawyer, Nurullay Albayrak, who said the claims have been "immoral slander."

Albayrak also said Turkey "has never seen unlawfulness, immorality and lies at such a level."

He said he has filed a libel lawsuit against the editors of the three newspapers, adding that the messages were fake because they exceeded the 140-character limit on Twitter.

Oran also denounced the allegations as a plot to frame the opposition. In a statement, the opposition lawmaker said he was a victim of "an immoral, outrageous and ugly slander" and called them "dark propaganda."

There has been speculation in recent weeks that Sumeyye, also an advisor to Erdogan, will possibly run for office for the ruling Justice and Development Party in June elections.

Erdogan has repeatedly accused Pennsylvania-based Gulen and his followers of being behind social media leaks and wiretaps that have led to a major corruption scandal in late 2013 in order to undermine his government.

SF/KA/SS


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