Alp Aslandogan, president of the New York-based Alliance for Shared Values (AFSV), said Gulen believes the Turkish authorities will not be able to produce concrete evidence to link him to the attempted coup in Turkey last month because that link [to the coup] is false… “So if something is not true, how can they prove it?’ Aslandogan told Middle East Eye in a telephone interview.
Wow…realpolitik will take precedence. It’s okay to send Gulen to his death. What do we care about the execution of a Muslim cleric who paid for full-page ads in the New York Times to condemn 9/11 attacks, the Charlie Hebdo attacks, and ISIS, forged ties between Jews, Christians and Muslims, who came to America because of our freedoms, and will honor our request, putting his fate in God’s hands, and our own. And why do we care that he goes to his death at the hands of a man who had good things to say about Hitler’s system of government.
Such movements, especially if they’re Muslim, attract suspicion in the West. In 2008, the Dutch government began investigating Hizmet. Its conclusions were that the movement isn’t involved in terrorism or a breeding ground for radicalism, nor does it oppose integration of Muslims into secular states. In 2015, MLK’s alma mater, Morehouse College, awarded its Gandhi King Ikeda Peace Award to Gülen for his lifelong commitment to peace among nations. But Erdogan insists that Gülen is a terrorist.
The US government cannot violate the country’s Constitution by detaining and extraditing Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen without probable cause simply to appease Turkey, former US Assistant States Attorney Nick Akerman told Sputnik.
“You see the pictures, ears cut off, eyes are bruised and noses are broken; they’re putting those pictures out,” Parlak said. “(Erdogan is) saying to the whole world, ‘I have the power and I’m going to do anything in my power and nobody can stop me,’ and that’s the part that is scary.”
Erdogan contends the failed takeover was inspired by cleric Fethullah Gulen, now in voluntary exile in the U.S. Erdogan is systematically trying to eliminate Gulen’s followers and has asked the U.S. to extradite him. Gulen has emphatically denied any involvement in the coup attempt and has suggested that it was staged as an excuse for Erdogan to stop dissenters. Gulen’s history suggests he is more humanitarian than militant.
Mr. Biden ought to candidly tell his host that the US did not instigate the coup and that it will not relinquish Mr. Gulen to a witchhunt. Mr. Erdogan may not want to hear it, but he also should be reminded that crushing the rule of law will dim Turkey’s prospects. Mr. Erdogan may bask in the crowds today, but using the coup as a pretext to purge the media, academia and other spheres of independent voices will not strengthen the nation in the long run.
It should be common sense to say that Gulen should not be handed over to a paranoid state, which cannot handle its own affairs. Fethullah Gulen himself has done what others also have, which is to suggest that Erdogan himself facilitated “the coup” in order for him to introduce his new phase of order over the country, becoming a dictator under NATO protection.
The man, who ran a nonprofit that provided humanitarian aid, doesn’t want to be identified because he fears for the safety of the wife and two children he was forced to leave in Turkey. They are hidden in a different city, he said, not far from his hometown. They’ve thrown away their cellphones and erased their social media accounts for fear of being tracked down by a government that no longer welcomes them.
Muhammet Ali Sezer, the incoming executive director of the Raindrop Turkish Cultural Center, said it will be impossible for him to return to his homeland unless the political situation improves. “If I go back to Turkey, I don’t know what they will do to me,” said Sezer. He also said he fears for his father and brother who live in Turkey.
Gulen, who has been living in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, promotes a philosophy that comprises elements of moderate Islam and Sufi mysticism, free-market economics, and interfaith tolerance. That he has a wide following in Turkey (and elsewhere) is not in doubt. As for Erdogan, he can be an Islamist sultan or he can be the democratic leader of a trusted NATO ally. But he can’t be both, and the time has come to make him choose.
In an exclusive interview with Al Arabiya News Channel, Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen said he was confident that the United States will not extradite him. “The United States has a reputation in the world as a country that upholds the rule of law. So I trust they will follow the proper procedures,” Gulen told Al Arabiya’s New York Bureau Chief Talal al-Haj.