Lawyers: Assassination accusations in Turkey’s Erdoğanist media aim to slander Gülen movement

Fethullah Gülen, an Islamic cleric who has been living in the United States in a self-imposed exile since 1999, has become the arch-enemy of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan since 2013

The lawyers of US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen said on Saturday that news reports in the pro-government media accusing Gülen movement followers of being in preparations to assassinate prominent persons in Turkey are baseless and aim to slander followers of the movement.

In a statement from @fgulenav Twitter account on Saturday, Gülen’s lawyers said recent reports in the pro-government media claiming that Gülen followers were caught by police in Balıkesir with weapons to assassinate prominent figures in Turkey are part of a smear campaign against the Gülen movement and their client Gülen, who recently warned people in a video speech that government circles were planning to assassinate prominent people in Turkey and put the blame on him.

“Gülen’s recent warning [in a video speech] on Aug. 13, 2017, which is available to the public on the Internet, was reported in social media as if Gülen had ‘ordered assassinations’ in Turkey, which is against logic, moral values and reason.”

“A short time after these reports, the pro-government media reported this time that ‘Two people preparing for an assassination were caught in Balıkesir’ and blamed Mr. Gülen and the Hizmet movement for that.”

“First of all, the claim of ‘ordering assassinations’ is slander. When Mr. Gülen’s speech is listened to, it can be understood that there is no such expression. On the contrary, he warned that dark power centers are planning assassinations and that Hizmet followers will be blamed for them.”

According to the statement, the stories in the pro-government media prove that Gülen was correct in his claim.

In the video shared Sunday night on the website and its social media accounts, including YouTube, Gülen said after a graft probe in 2013 and the July 15 coup attempt, government circles are now intending to pin the blame on him and his movement for the planned assassination of some famous figures in Turkey.

Several pro-government media outlets in Turkey and the Turkish service of the Sputnik news agency reported on Gülen’s speech, saying he ordered his followers to assassinate prominent people in Turkey by only using the part where Gülen narrates the conspirators’ plans.

On Friday, several pro-government media outlets reported that police detained two people in Balıkesir province and also captured weapons of assassination along with them. (

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