Things are beginning to get very strange — especially after the failed coup in Turkey. Now, an Islamic scholar in Pennsylvania is being blamed for the entire thing. Check this out…
Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, blamed an Islamic scholar in Pennsylvania for the coup attempt after he made a triumphant return to Istanbul announcing the military uprising had failed.
Explosions and gunfire erupted in Istanbul and Ankara, but Erdogan said the coup was orchestrated 5,000 miles away in a reference to his political rival Fethullah Gulen, who has lived in voluntary exile in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania since the late 1990s.
Gulen, 75, initially swung his millions-strong support behind of Erdogan, who rose from the mayor of Istanbul to prime minister before he became the president in 2014.
But the two fell out over a massive corruption scandal in 2013 that cost the country $100billion in a campaign thought to be initiated by Gulen’s followers against Erdogan’s closest allies.
Trained as an imam, Gulen gained notice in Turkey some 50 years ago, promoting a philosophy that blended a mystical form of Islam with staunch advocacy of democracy, education, science and interfaith dialogue.
Supporters known as the loosely organized group Hizmet, meaning ‘service’, started 1,000 schools in more than 100 countries, including about 150 taxpayer-funded charter schools throughout the US.
In Turkey, they have run universities, hospitals, charities, a bank and a large media empire with newspapers and radio and TV stations.
Critics, however, are skeptical of the group’s widespread control and allegations have been made accusing Hizmet of trying to indoctrinate students into Gulen’s movement.
Gulen backed the rise of Erdogan’s AK Party until the government closed down a network of Hizmet’s private schools, according to the BBC.
In 2013, Turkey’s corruption scandal, thought to have been instigated by Gulen’s followers, served a harsh blow to Erdogan’s administration when three ministers resigned after their sons were implicated.
Erdogan has repeatedly accused Gulen of plotting to overthrow the officially secular government from a gated 26-acre compound in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, which has a population of about 1,100.
The president, who was on vacation in the resort town of Marmaris when the coup began, issued a statement to CNN tonight referring to a ‘parallel structure’ behind the coup, a reference to Gulen’s followers.
Hours later, he touched down at Ataturk airport in a move that signaled the waning momentum of the military forces, reportedly led by Colonel Muharrem Kose.
Read more: Daily Mail