U.S. Judge Tosses Suit Against Reclusive Muslim Cleric

Islamic Scholar Fethullah Gulen
Islamic Scholar Fethullah Gulen


Date posted: June 30, 2016

A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit alleging that a reclusive Muslim cleric in Pennsylvania orchestrated human rights abuses in his native Turkey, ruling the claims didn’t belong in U.S. courts.

Turkey’s government funded the civil suit against Fethullah Gulen as part of a crackdown on the cleric and his movement by PresidentRecep Erdogan.

It claimed Mr. Gulen ordered sympathetic police, prosecutors and judges in Turkey to target members of a rival spiritual movement critical of his teachings.

U.S. District Judge Robert Mariani in Scranton, Pa., threw out the suit, ruling the plaintiffs “offer only circumstantial and tenuous allegations of a connection between Mr. Gulen’s domestic conduct and the violations of plaintiffs’ rights in Turkey.”

The legal action was filed in December on behalf of three men who claimed Gulen sympathizers in Turkish law enforcement planted evidence, fabricated search warrants, conducted illegal wiretaps and ultimately arrested and detained the men on trumped-up charges.

The plaintiffs’ attorney, Robert Amsterdam, had no immediate response to Wednesday’s ruling.

Mr. Gulen, who has lived in the U.S. since 1999, has criticized Mr. Erdogan, his onetime ally, over the Turkish leader’s rule.

“The case was a politically motivated attack leveled by the administration of Turkey’s President…against Mr. Gulen, for doing nothing more than publicly accusing the Erdogan administration of being corrupt and authoritarian,” Michael Miller, one of Mr. Gulen’s lawyers, said in a statement Wednesday.

The suit was part of a broad campaign against Mr. Gulen’s movement in Turkey and abroad. The Erdogan regime has carried out a purge of civil servants suspected of ties to the movement, seized businesses and closed some media organizations. Mr. Gulen has been charged criminally with plotting to overthrow the government, and was placed on trial in absentia last month.

With the financial backing of the Turkish government, Amsterdam also has focused on a network of about 150 publicly funded U.S. charter schools started by Mr. Gulen’s followers. State and federal authorities have probed some of the schools amid allegations of financial mismanagement and visa fraud, though no criminal charges have been filed.

Mr. Gulen’s supporters denounced the Turkish government over its pursuit of the cleric.

“Instead of filing frivolous lawsuits that drain both U.S. and Turkish taxpayer dollars, the Erdogan government should release jailed journalists, return private property confiscated by the government and stop targeting every critical voice with politically-driven legal harassment,” said Y. Alp Aslandogan, who leads a group that promotes Gulen’s ideas and work.

Source: Wall Street Journal , June 30, 2016


Related News

Does Pakistani law allow you to deport Turkish teachers, Nawaz Sharif?

The recent controversy that has emerged regarding the PakTurk school system is troubling to say the least. PakTurk schools started popping up all over Pakistan during last decade. Turkey has always carried a strong brand value in Pakistan and it is therefore not surprising that the school system ostensibly embodying the best of Pakistan and Turkey was an instantaneous hit with parents.

Unaffected by tension, TUSKON promotes Turkish economy

The Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON) has had its share of these provocative media reports. Regarding the recent media reports criticizing TUSKON’s lobbying efforts for Turkish firms abroad, TUSKON President Rıza Nur Meral told Sunday’s Zaman that allegations against TUSKON “do not make sense” and that the confederation has always supported Turkish businessmen who want to branch out into global markets. “We will continue our support [for Turkish entrepreneurs],” Meral added.

EU anti-terror chief: Gülen network not terrorist organization

The EU doesn’t believe Fethullah Gülen’s network is a terrorist organization and is not “likely to change its position soon,” the bloc’s counter-terrorism coordinator told Reuters in an interview published Thursday.

Gülen’s curse was misquoted, misinterpreted, GYV chief says

Mustafa Yeşil, chairman of the Journalists and Writers Foundation’s (GYV) executive board, in response to criticisms targeting prominent Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, said the curse uttered by Gülen did not have a direct reference and was poorly comprehended and highly manipulated by some who repeated it.

Ministry of Education denies authorizing raid on Gülen-inspired schools

The Ministry of Education denied on Tuesday having authorized a raid on private schools inspired by the faith-based Gülen movement that was conducted nearly two months ago in an official written statement sent in response to an objection submitted to the ministry by a lawyer representing the school group.

Bill Clinton on Fethullah Gulen’s Contribution to the World

Fethullah Gulen, the Gulen Movement (aka the Hizmet Movement), and their contributions to the world peace were recognized by 42nd U.S. President Bill Clinton. Hon. Bill Clinton delivered his remarks at the 3rd Annual Friendship Dinner by Turkish Cultural Center, New York City. President Clinton offered his thanks to the Gülen Movement for contributions to […]

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Rumi Forum Pakistan for fostering intercultural dialogue

Scholars: The major problem of the Muslim World is shortage of educated people

Turkey’s permanent state of crisis

Lack of tolerance and democracy

A new Turkish Cultural Center launched in Kiev

Gülen withdraws libel complaint after housewife apologizes

No country is safe for Gülen sympathizers, Erdoğan says

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News