Ankara’s mayor Melih Gökçek claimed in series of tweets from his personal account on Saturday that external powers, including the US, is planning to trigger a artificial eartquake in İstanbul along with FETO, an acronym of Fethullahist Terrorist Organization which Turkish government circles use to refer Gülen Movement, inspired by the views of US-based Turkish scholar Fethullah Gülen.

I had said FETO and US expects an earthquake in İstanbul in August 14 similar to the Gölcük eartquake in 1999. I ruined their plan after revealing in TVs. But the propoganda continues. The plan was to trigger an earthquake in İstanbul to destroy Turkey’s economy as US promised to FETO,” Gökçek wrote.

Gökçek also showed a recent news of a nuclear test by North Korea in sea that triggered an earthquake in a magnitude of 5.3.

What I’m saying is absolutely not imaginary. I say it by believing and with insistence… External powers are planning an artificial earthquake in İstanbul to collapse our economy… The world should know this… Here is the solid and fresh proof of what I’m saying: North Korea has done a nuclear test in the sea and an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.3 happened!” he tweeted.

He also called on government to cancel permissions for all seismic observation works by foreign ships in the Marmara Sea, including France, as their observations also suggested an İstanbul earthquake is expected soon in a magnitude of

Gökçek is known for his controversial remarks and battle of words with opposition party members and even people from his own party. In one of his tweets, he asserted that Fethullah Gülen had jinns, with which he controlled people.

President Tayyip Erdoğan and Justice and Development Party (AKP) government accuse Gülen of masterminding the failed coup on July 15 and being behind the corruption investigations in December 2013 which implicated AKP government ministers and people from the inner circles of Erdoğan. Gülen and symphatizers of the movement strongly deny the accusations.

Pro-government newspapers as well as top state officials claimed earlier that the US itself was also among the perpetrators of the coup. 

This article originally appeared in Turkish Minute on September 10.

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