Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sept. 20 called on world leaders at the United Nations to take measures against U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gülen’s “terrorist network” that he said threatened their security.
“I am calling, from this podium, to all our friends, to swiftly take the necessary measures against the Gülenist terrorist organization for their own safety and the future of their nations,” Erdoğan said. “It is evident from our experience that if you do not fight the Gulen network at this stage, it may be too late later.”
Gülen is accused of orchestrating Turkey’s failed coup in July 15. Gülen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania since 1999, has denied involvement in the coup attempt.
Accusing Gülen of building up a network of followers inside the armed forces and civil service to take over Turkey over the last number of decades, authorities have asked the United States to extradite or detain the cleric.
In an interview with Reuters on Sept. 19, Erdoğan said the United States should “not harbor a terrorist” like Gülen, adding that his activities around the world should be banned.