Turkey targets the Gulen family

Date posted: October 4, 2016

Turkish police detained Fethullah Gulen’s brother on Sunday.

The sibling of the Philadelphia-based cleric, Kutbettin Gulen, is accused of participating in his brother’s Islamic organization, called Hizmet (Service). Turkish authorities refer to the organization as “FETO”: Fetullah Gulen Terrorist Organization.

This is the third time Turkish authorities have targeted the Gulen family: in July, Turkey arrested Muhammet Sait Gulen, Fethullah’s nephew, in Erzurum. Another nephew, Ahmet Ramiz Gulen, was arrested in August.

Fethullah is one of five siblings. He has three brothers – Mesih, Salih, and Kutbettin – and two sisters, Nurhayat and Fazilet.

Gulen has lived in the United States since 1999.

Turkey accuses the preacher of organizing the July 15 coup attempt. His organization denies any involvement in the coup.

Ankara is asking for the immediate extradition of Gulen, but Washington insists there is a timely process to be observed.

Since the July 15 failed coup, Turkey has pursued a controversial “cleansing” of tens of thousands of people associated or believed to be somehow linked to the Gulen’s movement. Over 32,000 people have been arrested and tens of thousands more sacked from the civil service and state owned companies.

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