US-based Islamic Turkish scholar Fethullah Gülen repeated his condemnation of the assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey on Monday and said the envoy had applauded the activities of the Gülen movement in Russia.
Speaking in a a video message uploaded to the Internet by the Alliance for Shared Values, a New York-based NGO inspired by Gülen’s views, Gülen underlined that the killing of the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was an act of terror.
“I condemn [Karlov’s killing]. Secondly, He was sympathetic to Hizmet (the Gülen movement) activities in Russia. I heard from my friends that he attended their activities and spoke favorably,” he said.
Gülen also offered his condolences to the Russian people and leaders for their loss.
Underlining that the assassin police officer, Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, had nothing to do with the Gülen movement, past or present, he noted that Altıntaş, who claimed to be from the Al-Nusra Front, had been among the security guards of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at various times.
According to Gülen, Altıntaş’s assignment as an armed guard in the Turkish police force is either a serious example of incompetence on the part of the intelligence or security forces, or he must have been assigned there intentionally.
“Let him do it [kill the ambassador]. We can blame the incident on somebody else. If it was a manifestation of incompetence, a lack of foresight [for the authorities], then [they might have thought] ‘Lets blame it on those people [the Gülen movement]’,” he said.
Gülen further underlined his worry that those who killed the Russian ambassador and blamed the movement for it will facilitate other assassinations and blame them on the Gülen movement.
“I wish and hope that from now on God will not allow any such negative incidents. Terrorist incidents happen. I hope that God foils the plans of those who plan such incidents and will turn their plans backwards,” Gülen stated.
Following the assassination of Karlov in an art gallery in Ankara on Monday, Gülen described it as a “heinous act of terror” and urged that the Turkish government identify anyone who aided the gunman.