Gülen: Burden of proof rests with those who claim we plotted the coup

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epa04184840 (FILE) A file picture dated 15 March 2014 and made avaliable on 25 March 2014 by Zaman Turkish Daily newspaper shows Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic opinion leader and founder of the Gulen movement, poses during an interview at his residence in Pennsylvania, USA. According to reports on 29 April 2014, Turkish PM Erdogan said Turkey would launch extradition proceedings against Gulen. EPA/SELAHATTIN SEVI/ZAMAN DAILY NEWS / HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who is held responsible for everything that goes wrong in Turkey including a failed coup on July 15, said in an interview that those who accuse him of plotting the coup bear the responsibility of providing evidence.

In a joint interview to Die Zeit, El Pais and German news agency DPA, Gülen said that no matter who launched the coup attempt, they acted against his moral principles.

Gülen also argued that it was President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who planned the coup himself despite the president’s accusation that Gülen was the mastermind of the foiled coup of July 15, 2016.

Erdoğan turned on us when we did not proclaim him leader of the Muslim world

Responding to a question of why he had supported Erdoğan and his party in the past, Gülen referred to Erdoğan’s promises of European Union membership and a strengthening democracy. “Erdoğan hoped we would declare him the leader of the Muslim world and work towards that goal. When it did not happen, he turned into an enemy,” Gülen further stated.

When it comes to a massive post-coup purge that has affected more than a million people, according to statements made by Turkey’s main opposition, Gülen said all those arrests and dismissals target people Erdoğan does not like and are aimed at consolidating his power.

As far as Turkey’s request for his extradition from the US is concerned, Gülen said he would stay in Pennsylvania as long as he could but would leave if he had to, thanking the US for its hospitality.

Gülen has been living in self-imposed exile in a remote Pennsylvania town in the Poconos Mountains and inspires millions of people with his peaceful teachings that promote advancement through education.

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