Gulen Institute at UH denounces Turkey coup attempt
The Gulen Institute at the University of Houston, named after cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused of orchestrating a short-lived military coup in Turkey, published a statement Friday denouncing the act that resulted in 6,000 arrests and 290 deaths.
“We condemn any military intervention in domestic politics of Turkey,” according to the statement. “Events on the ground are moving quickly and it would be irresponsible for us to speculate on them. We remain concerned about the safety and security of Turkish citizens and those in Turkey right now. Comments by pro-Erdogan circles about the movement are highly irresponsible.”
The statement originated from the pro-Gulen nonprofit, Alliance for Shared Values.
In May, charter schools with links to Gulen in the U.S. — including Texas’ science-and-math-centric Harmony Public Schools — were named in a lawsuit from the Turkish government.
“We have been retained by the Republic to expose allegedly unlawful conduct by the Gulen network worldwide,” said Robert Amsterdam, founding partner of the international law firm Amsterdam & Partners LLP, in October 2015. “We cannot entrust an entire generation of children to a group that claims to uphold the ‘truth of light,’ yet is itself covered in darkness.”
After the coup, Erdogan requested President Barack Obama to extradite Gulen to maintain U.S.-Turkey ties. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that he will consider the matter when evidence is presented.
“The country that would stand behind this man is no friend to Turkey,” said Binali Yildirim, Turkey’s prime minister. “It would even be a hostile act against Turkey.”
Gulen denied that he directed the coup.
“I don’t believe that the world believes the accusations made by President Erdogan,” Gulen said. “There is a possibility that it could be a staged coup and it could be meant for further accusations (against Gulen and his followers).”