Police were called to the compound of Fethullah Gülen, the US-based Muslim cleric accused by Turkey of instigating a failed 2016 coup, in rural Pennsylvania on Wednesday after a guard fired a shot at a suspected armed intruder, Reuters reported, citing a Gülen spokesman.
The security guard fired the warning shot as the person tried to enter the compound’s gates, and the intruder fled, the spokesman said. There are no known injuries or arrests, Alp Aslandoğan, Gülen’s media adviser, told Reuters, saying the incident was over.
Several Pennsylvania State Police cars were seen around the gated compound and retreat in Saylorsburg in the Pocono Mountains, according to photographs shared online by local news reporters.
Police, who left the scene an hour or two later, did not respond to requests for comment. A local TV station reported that the police were still searching for the suspected intruder.
“The attempted armed entry comes on the heels of Turkish presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın speaking recently that Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization would launch overseas ‘operations’ against supporters of Mr. Gülen. And it is well-known that the Turkish government under Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has devised kidnapping plots against Mr. Gülen, as well as executed successful kidnappings of his supporters around the world,” the New York-based Gülen-affiliated association Alliance for Shared Values said in a statement.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Turkish government accuse Gülen of orchestrating an attempted coup in July, 2016, in which rogue soldiers commandeered tanks and fighter jets, bombing parliament. More than 240 people were killed in the violence.
Gülen denies the accusations.