Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkey will not “succumb” to pressure from special interest groups, including the Jewish and Armenian lobbies, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
“We will not succumb to the Jewish lobby, the Armenian lobby or the Greek lobby,” Davutoglu said on Sunday night.
Davutoglu appeared to be responding to a sharply critical opinion piece published in The New York Times last week by Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Turkish Muslim cleric who has been locked in a feud with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his former ally.
Gulen’s article lamented what he saw as the rolling back of democratic reforms in Turkey and said the current government was “leading the country toward totalitarianism.”
The government charges that Gulen is running a “parallel state,” and Davutoglu said he would not bow to his rival’s lobby either.
The authorities have carried out sweeping detentions against supporters of Gulen, including police officers and journalists. Many have since been released.
Turkey heads to parliamentary elections in June.
In April, Armenians will mark the centenary of the 1915 massacres in Turkey which many deem a genocide.