As part of defamation efforts against the Gülen movement’s activities around the world, the Turkish Foreign Ministry met with representatives of diplomatic missions in Turkey on Thursday.
According to diplomatic sources, Murat Selim Esenli, deputy undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry, briefed foreign diplomats on the activities of the Gülen movement in Turkey and abroad.
The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accuse the movement of being behind a failed coup attempt on July 15 in Turkey. Erdoğan also accuses sympathizers of the Gülen movement in the state bureaucracy of having launched a graft investigation in December 2013 that exposed the government’s involvement in corruption.
Inspired by the views of US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, the Gülen movement, popularly known as the Hizmet Movement — is a civil society initiative promoting worldwide interfaith dialogue, peace and tolerance. Gülen and the institutions of the movement are facing an intensive government witch-hunt as a large number of schools, educational institutions and private companies have been seized due to their alleged links to the movement.
Gülen has denied accusations of masterminding the coup attempt, and US and European Union authorities have demanded concrete evidence in order to start the process determine whether or not to extradite Gülen and his supporters.