Terrorist organisation behind coup attempt has network in India: Turkish Consul General

Mumbai, Aug 8 : Turkish Consul General Erdal Sabri Ergen on Monday issued a warning and said that the network of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen which was responsible for attempting the coup in Turkey was very much active in India, particularly in Mumbai and is under different guises.

Speaking to ANI here, Turkish Consul General Erdal Sabri Ergen said that his country's demand in terms of Gulen's 'terrorist' network was very simple and added all the institutions connected with this network are closed immediately.

"They provide finances, manpower to the overall network, which are in different countries and also in Turkey, having tried to take over the government of turkey.

So basically they are financing illegal and illegitimate activity which is overthrowing the elected government of Turkey," he said.

Asserting that the organisation was active under different guises, he added that they are not openly active, but most definitely have its centres.

"Fethullah terror organisation has network worldwide, including in India. They provide money and support," he said. Talking about Turkey's demand from the U.S. in terms of extraditing Gulen, Ergen said that his government wants the cleric to be transferred to them as quickly as possible so that he can face the charges against him.

"We have very basically demanded that he be extradited to Turkey to face the charges against him. He has denied it, but denial right now is not very believable because since the coup attempt, various people have tried to communicate with Gulen and we know various officers in the coup attempt are directly related to him.

So whatever denial from his side is not credible and we want the U.S. to extradite Gulen to Turkey," the Consul General said. Earlier, an Istanbul court had issued a warrant for Fethullah Gulen, the founder and leader of what Turkey calls the "Fethullahist Terror Organization," on charges of ordering the July 15 failed coup attempt in Turkey.

The ruling said Gulen organization, which infiltrated the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in major cities like Istanbul and Ankara, aimed to take over all the state's institutions and security bodies by changing the constitution.

It also clearly asserted that the organization, which aimed to become a large and effective political and economic power at the international level, carried out the coup attempt with a group of allegiant soldiers and meanwhile committed multiple crimes.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dismissed the possible threat of more action on August 14 by the "Fethullahist Terrorist Organization," which, according to Erdogan, perpetrated the July 15 failed coup attempt.

Meanwhile, the Guardian has reported that lawyers representing the US-based Turkish cleric have said that they fear attacks against his life and suggested that multiple intelligence agencies - including American ones - have long been monitoring his electronic communications.

The Turkish Government has informally requested that Gulen be returned to Turkey, though the US cannot initiate extradition proceedings until formal charges were brought against the cleric.

Gulen has lived in rural Pennsylvania since 1999, but does not have US citizenship. The Turkish officials have warned that a failure to extradite Gulen would have long-term consequences for Turkish-US diplomatic relations.

Source: ANI