Updated: July 20, 2016 1:20:24 am
FETHULLAH GULEN’S group, the alleged coup-plotters in Turkey, have a “presence” in India and Ankara expects New Delhi to take action against them, the country’s envoy to India, Burak Akcapar, said Tuesday.
Responding to a question on the possible presence of the Fethullah Gulen group in India, Akcapar, who met a group of journalists at the embassy, said, “Yes, they do have a presence here…we do expect Indian government to take action. We think they have no place in India. We have had consultations with the Indian government, we have passed on information to them.”
Later, he told The Indian Express, “We want to move very carefully on this (issue). We expect a sympathetic ear from the Indian side.”
Gulen, a Turkish cleric who lives in self-imposed exile and is the leader of a popular movement called Hizmet, is accused by the Turkish government of orchestrating Friday’s failed military coup from his home in Pennsylvania, US. Turkey has formally requested the United States to extradite the cleric.
Gulen has denied any involvement and had earlier issued a statement condemning the failed coup.
Pressed for more details, the Turkish envoy said he would not like to elaborate further and would wait for the Narendra Modi government to initiate action against the group.
Sources said the Gulen group’s supporters have presence across six cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune and Bengaluru.
Pointing out that India has been “supportive” of democracy in Turkey and had come forward with a statement within hours of the failed coup bid, Akcapar said, “We Turks have set the right example…(we are) very happy that India has come forward.”
He said he feels “proud” that the people of Turkey thwarted the coup attempt by a section of the military, allegedly owing allegiance to the Fethullah Gulen group. However, he insisted, only a small part of the Turkish military, judiciary and police forces were part of the coup attempt.
Calling the Fethullah Gulen group a “terrorist organisation”, Akcapar said that “terrorism is a method”. “It doesn’t matter what the cause is… there is no pretext for terror,” he said.
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