US Court Dismisses Turkey-backed Lawsuit against Fethullah Gülen

Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. (Photo: Today's Zaman)
Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. (Photo: Today's Zaman)


Date posted: July 4, 2016

New York, NY – (June 29, 2016) — A US District Court in Pennsylvania today dismissed a politically-motivated lawsuit against Fethullah Gülen, an internationally respected Turkish scholar, preacher and peace activist. Brought about by three Turkish nationals with the backing of the Recep Tayyip Erdoğan-led Turkish government, the baseless lawsuit alleged persecution of the Doğan Movement at the direction of Mr. Gülen.

“We are glad that the US justice system worked as it should, dismissing a lawsuit without grounding in fact,” said Y. Alp Aslandogan, the executive director of the Alliance for Shared Values, an American non-profit umbrella organization for Hizmet, as the movement inspired by Mr. Gülen is known. “Unfortunately, those living in Turkey aren’t so lucky. President Erdoğan has seized control of the judiciary, leaving many Turkish citizens deemed critical of the government at the mercy of an inherently biased court system.”

In his decision to dismiss the suit, Robert D. Mariani, US District Judge for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, noted that “because any amendment to the Complaint would be futile, Plaintiffs will not be given leave to amend.”

The lawsuit is part of a global campaign to harass and smear Mr. Gülen and his sympathizers for criticizing the Erdoğan administration for its slide toward authoritarian rule and corruption.

“Instead of filing frivolous lawsuits that drain both US 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,” Aslandogan said.

Amsterdam and Partners, one of the law firms representing the plaintiffs, publicly acknowledged that this lawsuit is part of a larger political campaign against Hizmet.

About Alliance for Shared Values

The Alliance for Shared Values (AFSV) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that serves as a voice for dialogue organizations affiliated with Hizmet, a global social movement inspired by prominent preacher and peace advocate Fethullah Gülen. Based in New York, the Alliance strives to promote peace and to eliminate prejudice and discrimination against any or all ethnic, cultural and religious communities. To learn more about the Alliance or Mr. Gülen, please visit www.afsv.org.

Mr. Gulen’s lawyers statement is available here

Source: The Alliance for Shared Values , June 29, 2016


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