US Vice President Joe Biden’s office refuted a claim made by Bekir Bozdağ, justice minister of Turkey, who said on Thursday night that Biden had confirmed that substantive information on the involvement of US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen had been received by the US as part of an extradition request submitted by Ankara this month.
Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has criticized a speech delivered by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at a UN meeting on Tuesday in which he called on world leaders to take measures against the faith-based Gülen movement, saying that Erdoğan’s speech only served to promote the Gülen movement.
Yes, at one time, there had been rapprochement and mutual support, but reality and history show that such an alliance has long been overstated. The truth is, Erdoğan and Gülen only came together when Erdoğan’s stated goals reflected deeply held beliefs by Gülen. As is often the case, perception is mistaken for reality. Gülen is not Erdoğan’s biggest threat, nor was he his chief ally.
Gülen movement has been accused of masterminding the coup attempt on July 15 despite its successive statements that denied any involvement. Failing to back up its accusations with credible evidence, the government has detained more than 40,000 people and arrested 24,000 over their alleged links to the coup attempt since July 15.
A 28-year-old man of Turkish origin has been handed down a prison sentence of eight months and a fine of 23,000 euros by a French court after he attacked several institutions affiliated with the faith-based Gülen movement in the country.
“No country, no region anywhere in the world, is a safe haven for FETÖ [an acronym the government has been using to refer to the Gülen movement] and militants,” said Erdoğan during a press conference at İstanbul Atatürk Airport, before flying to New York for the UN General Assembly.
A Kırıkkale man who lost his both legs in a PKK attack while doing military service in the eastern province of Bingöl, has been sacked from a state institution after authorities found out that private colleges linked to Gülen Movement granted scholarship to his children.
Candan Badem teaches history at a university in southern Turkey, is a socialist and does not believe in God. But he lost his job and was hauled in by the police and accused of being a loyalist to a shadowy Islamic cleric who lives in exile in Pennsylvania.
US House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee Chairman Dana Rohrabacher said during a hearing titled “Turkey after the July Coup Attempt” in the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday that the Turkish government’s claims against a US-based Turkish scholar for masterminding the July 15 coup attempt lack substantial evidence and were not credible.