Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has pressed Beninese President Patrice Talon to take necessary steps to end the activities of followers of the Gülen movement in the West African country, Turkish media reports said.
Erdoğan met with Talon on Thursday at the presidential palace in Ankara. During their meeting, one of the major issues discussed was Gülen movement followers’ activities in Benin.
Erdoğan and his government accuse the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and label it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.
The Turkish president has been waging a war on Gülen followers within and without Turkey for the past several years, asking countries to close down Gülen-affiliated schools and institutions as well as detain and extradite teachers, businessmen and their families who sympathize with the movement.
Speaking at a joint press conference following their meeting, Erdoğan said: “I hope we get [the desired] results concerning removal of the FETÖ connections [a derogatory term coined by the government to refer to the Gülen movement] in Benin in the shortest possible time.”
The Gülen movement has schools and universities in more than 160 countries.
As a result of the global witch-hunt against the movement, more than 100 Gülen-linked Turkish nationals have been brought back to Turkey through intelligence operations and with the cooperation of other countries, including Kosovo, Qatar, Azerbaijan, Malaysia, Gabon and Myanmar.