Date posted: July 18, 2016
Islamic cleric who has been blamed by Turkey’s president for the coup attempt on Friday evening gives a rare interview and suggests that the event may have been staged by the Turkish government as a way to shore up power and excuse further arrests of those who oppose Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Source: The Guardian , July 16, 2016
The European intelligence contradicts the Turkish government’s claim that exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen was behind the plot to overthrow the Turkish government. Ankara is seeking Mr Gulen’s extradition from the US. The huge wave of arrests was already previously prepared.
Erdoğan is going to Brussels as the prime minister of Turkey who doesn’t even have ambassadors in three of its region’s important capital; Cairo, Tel Aviv and Damascus. A negotiation chapter was opened in November 2013 after a three-year freeze. Erdoğan had to sack the former EU minister from the cabinet because of the allegations in relation with a major graft probe in December 2013 and appointed Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu to that post.
The statement read that the language of hatred, violations of the law, intervention in the political process and the defamation of different segments of Turkish society “not only harm the Turkish democracy and Turkey, but also the international image and prestige of the country.”
A moderate preacher rooted in the Sufi mystic tradition of Islam, Mr. Gulen is known for emphasizing interfaith dialogue. But Mr. Erdogan calls Mr. Gulen and his followers a “cancer” and a “terrorist organization” that is building a “parallel state.” The rancour is personal.
Unlike Turkey’s classical Islamic activists, Gulen always distanced himself from politics, and like Said Nursi, his main source of inspiration, his message was focused on grassroots social activism, most importantly an education combining both Islam and modern science. Hizmet’s main goal was social: raising a new “golden” generation fusing moderate Muslim and Modern ethics to become the backbone of Turkey’s society and bureaucracy and its messengers to the world.
Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania since 1999, told the German broadcaster ZDF in an interview broadcast on Friday that there was no evidence linking him to the thwarted putsch, which he has denounced. He accused Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan of using the coup to silence opponents.