Fatih Tezcan, a pro-government public speaker and columnist, said in a video message he posted on social media on Saturday that Turkey should bomb Pennsylvania to kill Turkish-Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen and the people in his close circle.
Tezcan said Pennsylvania, where Gülen is based, should be bombed like the Kandil Mountains in northern Iraq, where hideouts belonging to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) exist.
“He [Gülen] should be executed in the place he lives. Not only Fethullah Gülen [should be killed], if there is a need for a list [of the people in Gülen’s close circle], I can give it but the relevant authorities have that list, around 20-30 people [should also be killed],” Tezcan says in the video message.
He says there are around 200 countries in the world and that none of these countries should be a safe haven for Gülen followers.
Despite Gülen’s consistent messages against violence, the Turkish government, led by the Justice and Development Party (AKP), has been accusing him of plotting a July 15 coup attempt and labeling the movement as a “terrorist” in the absence of any violent action by its followers.
Gülen has been living in self-imposed exile since 1999 in Pennsylvania. Over the years, a significant yet unknown number of people from Turkey have been inspired by his teachings promoting education and the peaceful coexistence of different faiths and have opened schools and dialogue centers around the world.
Turkey has been pursuing a relentless purge against the real and perceived sympathizers of the Gülen movement that gained momentum after July 15.
As of March 23, 94,982 people were being held without charge, with an additional 47,128 in pre-trial detention due to their alleged links to the movement. A total of 7,317 academics were purged as well as 4,272 judges and prosecutors, who were dismissed due to alleged involvement in the July 15 coup attempt.