* Erdogan accuses Islamic cleric of seeking to unseat him
* Stream of recordings leaked purporting to show corruption
* PM says a video may be leaked before presidential election
ISTANBUL, May 28 (Reuters) - Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip
Erdogan said on Wednesday followers of an Islamic cleric with
whom he's locked in a power struggle might leak a video about
him and his family to smear him before an August presidential
The cleric, Fethullah Gulen, is a former ally, now based in
Pennsylvania, who Erdogan accuses of trying to unseat him. He
says Gulen is behind a stream of "fabricated" voice recordings
that purport to reveal corruption in the prime minister's inner
The leaking of those recordings on the internet ceased after
local elections on March 30, which were dominated by Erdogan's
ruling AK Party, but the prime minister signalled in a rally in
the eastern province of Agri he expected more to come.
"I have just found out that Pennsylvania is preparing a nice
movie about me. They are preparing a nice movie about me and my
family," Erdogan told thousands of his supporters in the rally,
ahead of a re-run of a municipal election in Agri on Sunday.
Erdogan is widely expected to run in Turkey's first direct
presidential election in August and he suggested the release of
such a video was designed to embarrass him ahead of the vote.
"These plots have always failed, and they will fail. Now they
are calculating on getting the movie ready before the
presidential elections," he said.
Government officials say Gulen's Hizmet network has been
illegally tapping thousands of telephones in Turkey for years to
concoct criminal cases against its enemies and try to influence
government affairs. Gulen has denied the accusations.
Erdogan has been battling a corruption scandal which emerged
in December. Police raids targeted businessmen close to him and
the sons of ministers, but it appears to have run out of steam,
with one graft court case dismissed at the start of May.
The prime minister has removed thousands of police and
judiciary officials from their posts in what he characterises as
a campaign to root out a subversive 'parallel state'.
The power struggle has been one of the biggest challenges of
Erdogan's 11-year rule, but in his light-hearted comments about
a possible video on Wednesday he showed no sign it worried him.
"They weren't able to find an appropriate actor to play me
so far. They couldn't find an actor to play my son either," he
said. "But they don't need to go to Hollywood to find actors,
they have plenty of artists among themselves."
(Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by
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