World Bulletin / News Desk
US-based Turkish congregation leader Fethullah Gulen is currently lobbying non-governmental organizations in South Africa to persuade President Jacob Zuma to grant him political asylum, a reported has stated.
A letter sent to the office of the prime minister from an executive at an influential Islamic non-governmental organization in South Africa claimed that Fethullah Gulen, the leader of the Hizmet Movement, is currently lobbying non-governmental organizations in South Africa to persuade President Jacob Zuma for political asylum.
According to Daily Sabah, representatives of the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) asked them to provide sanctuary to Fethullah Gulen in the case that he is deported from the United States, if Turkey requests his extradition or in the case that he is found guilty of the offences he is currently charged with.
The NGO executive stated that the representatives of the Gulen Movement visited the MJC three weeks ago but had failed to convince them with their anti-Erdogan propaganda. They sent them away telling them that the Muslims of South Africa will side with Erdogan.
Fethullah Gulen has been living in self-exile in the US since 1999, where he runs one of Turkey's most influential movements from his Pennsylvania home.
Once a supporter of Erdogan's ruling AK Party, the the movement fell out with the government over a number of issues including the attempted prosecution of Turkey's intelligence chief Hakan Fidan in 2012 by a prosecutor believed to be allied to Gulen.
The split was confirmed last Autumn when the movement protested Erdogan's call to transform prep schools into private schools.
The movement claimed that their prep schools, from which they earn a bulk of their income, could not be transformed and thus faced closure.
Erdogan then accused prosecutors and police officials loyal to Gulen of attepting a post-modern civilian coup on the government with accusations of corruption.
After a number of government loyalists were arrested in raids on December 17, Erdogan initiated a purge on the country's police and judiciary, forcing hundreds out of their posts.Last Mod: 17 Haziran 2014, 15:07