Turkey wants Maharashtra to crack down on Gulen sympathisers

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Mumbai, Aug 8 (IANS) Turkey on Monday demanded that the Maharashtra government and Indian agencies act against the networks of the Fethullah Gulen movement here.

Turkish Consul-General in Mumbai Erdal Sabri Ergen told mediapersons that there are several agencies across the world which are networked to Fethullah Gulen, which, the Turkish government has alleged, plotted the recent coup in that country. A Turkish cleric living in self-imposed exile in US’s Pennsylvania, Gulen leads the popular Hizmet movement.

“We want the government to act. There are many agencies across the world which are networked to Gulen. The same is true for India and Mumbai being the financial capital,” Ergen told media persons at a hurriedly-convened briefing.

While declining to name any organisation or specifying the numbers for legal reasons, the he said Turkey is requesting governments across the world to crack down on Gulen groups.

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“Jordan has closed down (Gulen-supported or affiliated organisations) immediately, we have taken over a hospital in Somalia. We have informed the Indian and Maharashtra governments about these groups,” Ergen said.

He admitted that there some Turkish people who are manning or are a part of such organisations.

Some reports have suggested that the Gulen organisation has a presence in Mumbai and Pune, besides New Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.

“The network projects a positive, moderate image… (but) what they have done is not good,” Ergen said, referring to last month’s coup attempt which was scuttled by public support for the Recep Tayyip Erdogan government.

Last month, Turkish Ambassador to India Burak Akcapar had first demanded the Indian government to act against the Gulen organisation which he termed as “a terror organisation”.

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The Turkish government has accused Gulen of orchestrating July’s failed coup in the country and has made a formal request to the US to extradite him.

However, Gulen has condemned the failed coup and strongly denied any involvement in it.



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