Why Is Erdogan Shifting the Coup Blame to Fethullah Gulen?
WHY IS ERDOGAN SHIFTING THE COUP BLAME TO FETHULLAH GULEN?
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed the uprising on Fethullah Gulen, a retired Islamic cleric and former political ally, who once had a sizeable following in the Turkish police, judiciary and military.
The president has purged the police and judiciary of reputed Gulen sympathizers over the past two years, and had been due to hold a meeting of the body overseeing the military, the High Military Council. There were reports he was planning to oust anyone still linked with Gulen.
Fethullah Gulen, whose movement denied any involvement, now lives in exile in the Poconos Mountains in Pennsylvania, USA. Erdogan has tried, thus far unsuccessfully, to obtain his extradition to face allegations of supporting terrorism.
A reclusive Muslim cleric/ super-rich Turkish businessman who runs one of the world's largest charter school and private school networks, is very close to the CIA and has been more or less at war with Erdogan for the last few years. Living in exile on a Monroe County farm, he denied claims by Turkey's prime minister that his progressive religious movement is behind a corruption probe designed to undermine the Asian nation's government.
Fethullah Gulen, who has lived near Saylorsburg since 1999, condemned Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for characterizing the corruption probe as a Western plot to destabilize the nation.
Gulen, 72, who lives at the Golden Generation Worship Center in Ross Township, is seen by followers as a tolerant and moderating voice in global Islam.
He has made his life's work spreading the influence of Turkey through an international network of schools, including about 130 public charter schools in the United States, three of which are in Pennsylvania.
Turkey has been a relatively moderate Muslim country until recently where it has covertly allied itself with ISIS terrorists in Syria. It is literally on the boundary between Europe and Asia.