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Turkey Says This Cleric Orchestrated A Coup From Pennsylvania

Posted at 10:36 AM, Jul 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-16 11:36:18-04

A Muslim cleric in self-imposed exile is accused of orchestrating the attempted coup in Turkey from Pennsylvania, where he lives.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an says followers of Fethullah Gülen are behind the military's attempted takeover.

Gülen leads a popular movement called Hizmet, a form of Islam that emphasizes service and education. It's created schools, business and publications all over the world.

He's lived in the U.S. since 1999 when he fled Turkey after being accused of extremist Islamist activities.

Gülen was once considered Erdo?an's ally. But in 2013 Erdo?an, who was then the prime minister, accused the cleric of being behind a corruption investigation into the government. Erdo?an called it retaliation for shutting down several Hizmet schools.

In the years since, the Turkish government has taken over several companies with links to Gülen, including television stations and at least one newspaper.

The Alliance for Shared Values on Developments, a U.S. nonprofit for Gülen's movement, released a statement after the coup attempt, saying: "We have consistently denounced military interventions in domestic politics. ... We condemn any military intervention in domestic politics of Turkey."

This video includes clips from Fethullah GülenBBCPBSSamanyolu TV and DHA and images from Getty Images.


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