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Turkish President Erdogan calls for global action against US-based preacher Gulen at UNGA

The Turkish President claimed Gulen's terrorist organisation, FETO has spread its wings in 170 countries, threatening international security. Photograph: (AFP)

WION United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY, United States Sep 20, 2016, 08.10 PM (IST)
In his address at the United Nations on Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the international community to take action against the US-based Islamist preacher Fetullah Gulen. 

Turkish authorities have accused the self-exiled leader of orchestrating Turkey's failed coup attempt in July.

Erdogan told the UN General Assembly that Gulen had built up a terrorist network over decades that threaten international security. 

"I would like to call on all our friends to take the necessary measures against the Fethullah Terrorist Organization in their own countries for the future of their own people and their well-being," he said.

Erdogan had launched a campaign to purge Turkey's schools and military of Gulen followers. He alleged that the FETO movement was present in 170 countries. 

"This terrorist organization is in a deep mental heresy of subduing the whole world, far beyond Turkey. It is evident from our experience that if you do not fight against FETO now, tomorrow may be too late," he said.

The preacher has strongly denied any involvement in the attempted coup in Turkey. He lives in a self-imposed exile in the US state of Pennsylvania since 1999. He continues an active role in religious dialogue and charity. 

Erdogan on Monday said that the United States should "not harbour a terrorist" like Gulen and said his activities around the world should be banned.

Turkish authorities have asked the United States to extradite or detain Gulen. A team of US officials is reviewing the evidence against the cleric. 

(WION with inputs from agencies)
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