Tags: Turkey Coup | gülen | erdoğan | threatens | turkey | democracy

Gülen: Erdogan Threatens Turkey's Democracy

Gülen: Erdogan Threatens Turkey's Democracy
(Aris Messinis/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 25 July 2016 07:29 PM

Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, who is living in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, said he had nothing to do with a recent coup attempt but had harsh words for Turkey's president in a new op-ed.

In a New York Times piece, Gülen — who has developed a group of followers known as Gülenists — writes that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a threat to Turkey's Democracy.

Erdoğan has accused Gülen of orchestrating the coup attempt that resulted in more than 300 deaths earlier this month.

"Having suffered through four military coups in four decades in Turkey — and having been subjected by those military regimes to harassment and wrongful imprisonment — I would never want my fellow citizens to endure such an ordeal again," Gülen writes.

"If somebody who appears to be a Hizmet sympathizer has been involved in an attempted coup, he betrays my ideals.

"Nevertheless, Mr. Erdoğan's accusation is no surprise, not for what it says about me but rather for what it reveals about his systematic and dangerous drive toward one-man rule."

Gülen, whose alleged ties to the Clinton camp were recently uncovered, then discussed several moves made by Erdogan that he said resemble despotism.

"Mr. Erdogan in recent years has arbitrarily closed newspapers; removed thousands of judges, prosecutors, police officers and civil servants from their positions; and taken especially harsh measures against Kurdish communities," G�len writes. "He has declared his detractors enemies of the state."

The former imam leads the Hizmet religious and social movement from his home in Saylorsburg, Pa. He said Erdogan has targeted his group on several occasions.

"In 2013, Mr. Erdogan blamed Hizmet sympathizers within the Turkish bureaucracy for initiating a corruption investigation that implicated members of his cabinet and other close associates," G�len writes.

"Since 2014, when Mr. Erdogan was elected president after 11 years as prime minister, he has sought to transform Turkey from a parliamentary democracy into an 'executive presidency,' essentially without checks on his power. In that context, Mr. Erdogan’s recent statement that the failed coup was a 'gift from God' is ominous.

"He is removing many of the remaining impediments to absolute power."

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Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, who is living in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, said he had nothing to do with a recent coup attempt but had harsh words for Turkey's president in a new op-ed. In a New York Times piece, Gülen - who has developed a group of followers...
gülen, erdoğan, threatens, turkey, democracy
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2016-29-25
Monday, 25 July 2016 07:29 PM
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