Date posted: March 1, 2017
Washington (dpa) – Exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen has no plans to leave the United States for Canada, according to an organization close to him, following speculation about a possible move.
The Alliance for Shared Values “rejects the accusation” by Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus that Gulen is planning a move to Canada, it said in a statement on its website.
“Mr Gulen has not purchased any property in Canada or elsewhere and has no intention of leaving the United States,” the statement said.
“This is nothing more than a false rumour being circulated again to divert attention from the Erdogan government‘s domestic repressions and autocratic drive, and to exert pressure on the US government to arrest Mr Gulen,” the statement said.
Gulen has lived in self-imposed exile in the eastern US state of Pennsylvania since 1999.
Turkey has blamed Gulen and his Hizmet movement of being behind a failed coup d‘etat in July and is seeking his extradition. Gulen contends that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan initiated the coup himself in order to create an excuse to silence critics.
The alliance said Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag had speculated about Gulen moving to Canada as early as July 28.
The Alliance also reiterated its call for an end to attempts to stymie voices of democratic dissent, including journalists, academics, Kurds, liberals and participants in the Hizmet movement.
Source: Europe Online Magazine , March 2, 2017