Pakistan

Allies including Pakistan must check Gulen’s activities, says Turkey

EURODGAN FEATURE

ISLAMABAD: Finding it hard to ignore Fethullah Gulen’s possible involvement in masterminding botched coup attempt in Turkey last week, Ankara anticipates that Pakistan and other friendly countries would help in restricting the group’s activities within their territories.  

Turkish ambassador in Islamabad Sadik Babur Girgin said just the one percent of the army that tried to overthrow the government in Turkey, but did not get any support by the Turkish Armed Forces and so “we call them terrorists”.

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He hinted that Turkey has solid evidence that links Fethullah Gulen – the US-based religious leader – group with the failed coup attempt.

“We have solid proof that this coup attempt has been staged by Gulen supporters who had penetrated the Army and civil bureaucracy”, Girgin said.

Turkey has asked friendly countries including Pakistan to check the activities of Gulen’s movement behind the coup that tried to dismantle the Turkish government led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Girgin said Turkey and Pakistan were “in very close contact in all aspects including this aspect”, but did not elaborate further.


Must Read: Turkish people defy coup bid, support democracy on streets


“Pakistan has always been a very good friend of Turkey. We have very good cooperation with Pakistani authorities in every field,” he added.

About the international reaction to the failed overthrow attempt, he said it had now been denounced by all countries, but initially the reaction of some of the champions of democracy was “disappointing”.

Girgin said the Erdogan’s government has requested Gulen’s extradition from the United States, adding that the US Vice President Joe Biden had assured that it would be considered.

How the Turkish government would now deal with those who killed scores of civilians after coup was declared is concerning the world.

People, who saw blood of their loved ones on the coup time, seek justice. However, no decision has yet been taken to being back “death penalty,” Girgin clarified. Only parliament has the right to decide on it.

“The terrorist will be punished strictly in accordance with the law,” he said.

Gulen denies behind Turkey coup attempt

Fethullah Gulen, 75, the US-based cleric accused by Ankara of orchestrating the coup attempt in Turkey, has a wide following in his native country, where he enjoys support among the police and judiciary.

The reclusive Islamic preacher, who lives in a tiny town in the Pocono Mountains of the US state of Pennsylvania, was immediately accused by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of being behind the coup attempt.

Gulen, however, denied any role, and condemned the coup attempt “in the strongest terms.”

He was once a close ally of Erdogan but the two fell out in recent years as Erdogan became suspicious of Gulen’s movement, Hizmet, and its powerful presence in Turkish society, including the media, police and judiciary.

The preacher moved to the United States in 1999, before he was charged with treason in his native country.

He has since led a secluded life in Pennsylvania, declining interviews and rarely making public appearances.

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