Turkish Cleric, Accused in Coup Plot, Calls Crackdown ‘Dark Pages’ in History

M. Fethullah Gulen
M. Fethullah Gulen


Date posted: September 15, 2016

Rick Gladstone

The Turkish Muslim cleric accused by Turkey of plotting a failed coup two months ago denounced the repression of his supporters on Thursday, calling the crackdown “dark pages in world history.”

The cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, said the arrests, purges and dismissals undertaken by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, a former ally, reflected the behavior of a man “seeking sovereignty for himself.”

Mr. Gulen accused the government of subjecting his followers to “oppression and tyranny.”

“My heart is aching,” he said.

Mr. Erdogan and his subordinates have blamed Mr. Gulen for the coup attempt, which left at least 271 people dead. Mr. Gulen is the overseer of a religious movement that runs schools, charities and other enterprises in a number of countries, but that the Turkish government considers a terrorist organization.

Mr. Gulen, 75, who has repeatedly denied involvement in the coup attempt, made his remarks in Turkish in a recorded video address to the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, which streamed the address and provided a simultaneous translation.


The Turkish Muslim cleric accused by Turkey of plotting a failed coup two months ago denounced the repression of his supporters on Thursday, calling the crackdown “dark pages in world history.” The severity of the crackdown in Turkey has raised concerns in the United States and Europe that Mr. Erdogan has used the failed coup as a pretext to eradicate political rivals and groups he deems a threat to his power. 


It was Mr. Gulen’s first public comment about the coup attempt and its aftermath since Turkey, a United States ally, formally requested that the American authorities arrest him while Turkish prosecutors seek to have him extradited. Turkey’s semiofficial Anadolu news agency said Tuesday that the Justice Ministry had demanded his arrest on charges of “ordering and commanding the attempted coup.”

Mr. Gulen did not address the extradition issue. But his principal deputy, Y. Alp Aslandogan, who spoke to the World Affairs Council after the video was shown, said Mr. Gulen had no plans to leave the United States.

“He hasn’t done anything wrong,” Mr. Aslandogan said. “It’s not possible for the Turkish government to satisfy conditions for extradition. He’s not worried about it.”

The Obama administration has said it is taking the extradition request seriously. While Turkish officials have acknowledged that the process could take months, many are angry at the United States for what they view as lenient treatment of Mr. Gulen.

The severity of the crackdown in Turkey has raised concerns in the United States and Europe that Mr. Erdogan has used the failed coup as a pretext to eradicate political rivals and groups he deems a threat to his power. Mr. Erdogan and his subordinates have rejected those concerns.

Mr. Gulen said he believed that Mr. Erdogan had been caught off guard by the international response to the crackdown, saying the Turkish leader “did not realize how this would be perceived.”

Source: New York Times , September 15, 2016


Related News

African Union Commission chair supports creation of more Turkish schools

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, said on Tuesday during a visit to Johannesburg that volunteers working for the faith-based Gülen movement — inspired by the teachings of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen — should continue to build schools and other institutions in Africa.

Gülen’s lawyer: New arrest warrant for Gülen is unlawful

The lawyer for Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, Nurullah Albayrak, in reaction to Turkish media reports on Tuesday of another arrest warrant being issued for his client, said in a statement that according to the law on criminal procedure, it is unlawful for a court to issue an arrest warrant unless the accused has been appropriately called to appear before the court.

Report: Turkey Mulling Attack On Fethullah Gulen

Turkish security services have reportedly been planning an attack on U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric suspected of masterminding the July 15 coup plot, a number of sources confirmed. The source said a Turkish intelligence unit in the U.S. had been monitoring the Gulen’s compound for several weeks and that the security was easy to breach.

Enes Kanter Foundation and Embrace Relief launches campaign for Hurricane Harvey victims and families

In collaboration with Enes Kanter Foundation, Embrace Relief has launched a relief campaign to help victims and families affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

Consultation from Gülen’s perspective: The relationship between the ruler and the ruled

Even if the head of state or the leader is confirmed by God and nurtured by revelation and inspiration, he is obliged to conduct affairs by consultation. In fact, any society that has ignored or disregarded this practice has never prospered; rather, it has perished. So the Messenger of God saw the salvation and progress of his community in consultation: “Those who consult do not lose.”

The Gulen Movement has become Turkey’s most significant export

The Gulen movement has become a global movement. In other words, it is Turkey’s most important export. When you cross boundaries, you have to watch the balance. His statement on the flotilla incident was both domestic and international. However, we must not forget that Gulen does not recommend that people fight those in authority. His statements disturbed both the government and the conservatives in Turkey.

Latest News

This notable Pocono resident has been living here in exile since 1999

Logistics companies seized over Gülen links sold in fast-track auction

That is Why the Turkish Government could Pay 1 Billion Euros

ECtHR rules Bulgaria violated rights of Turkish journalist who was deported despite seeking asylum

Fethullah Gülen’s Message of Condolences in the Wake of the Western European Floods

Pregnant woman kept in prison for 4 months over Gülen links despite regulations

Normalization of Abduction, Torture, and Death in Erdogan’s Turkey

Turkey’s Maarif Foundation illegally seized German-run school in Ethiopia, says manager

Failed 2016 coup was gov’t plot to purge Gülenists from state bodies, journalist claims

In Case You Missed It

Civil war in Mali did not discourage the Turkish school teachers

African Initiative on Education for Peace and Development through Inter-religious and Intercultural Dialogue

Not appearing in the worst selfie in history

Man campaigning for anti-Gülen protest in US Turkish Communist Party member

Turkish Community Donates $40,000 To Sandy Damaged Gerritsen Library, Elementary School

Cleric Accused Of Plotting Turkish Coup Attempt: ‘I Have Stood Against All Coups’

Foreign Policy Magazine Interviewed Fethullah Gulen

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News