Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has denied reports that he was rushed to a hospital in an ambulance after suffering a heart attack during his five-day official stay in the U.S.
In remarks made during a meeting in the Turkish capital Ankara Monday, Erdogan blamed some groups for the wrong reports.
"I was in a rush to attend a meeting but they say 'Erdogan suffered a heart attack'. I am safe and sound. I don't know if there is any group of people in the world who live in another country but attack their own country so hatefully," the Turkish president said.
He said the same groups tried their best to make all steps taken by Turkey in Washington fail.
"I am trying to understand this morbid psychology, but I cannot find any word to define them," he added.
Earlier on Sunday, Erdogan said he also saw representatives of the PKK terrorist organization, the militant wing of its Syrian affiliate, the People's Protection Units (YPG), the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA), and the parallel state cooperating with each other.
The ‘parallel state’ organization is said to be led by U.S.-based preacher, Fetullah Gulen. It is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey. The Turkish government says the Gulen network’s schools and businesses have allowed its supporters to infiltrate state organs such as the judiciary and police.
Investigations into the parallel state have seen hundreds of civil servants, including police and public prosecutors, arrested or reassigned.
ASALA is the Armenian terrorist organization that killed 31 Turkish diplomats across the world between 1973 and 1986.
Erdogan also slammed those who criticize the state of freedom of expression in Turkey.
"Those who insulted U.S. President Obama via Facebook, Twitter were sentenced to three years in prison. Similarly, the one who insulted [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel was condemned to two years," he said.
Indicating that pushing Turkey all the time was not about democratic sensitivity or defending rights and freedoms, Turkish president said: "They are trying to weaken Turkey and drop our country's guard."
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