AFP to check on ‘terrorist’ activities of Turkish dissidents in PH
The Philippines’ Armed Forces is investigating a claim made by Turkey’s ambassador to Manila that Turkish terrorists had found their way into the Philippines, according to Malacañang.
Ernesto Abella, presidential spokesperson, said the military was “verifying” a statement attributed to Turkish Ambassador Esra Cankorur warning against the activities in the Philippines of Turkish terrorists “particularly the Fetullah Gulen Movement.”
According to bbc.com, however, the Gulen was a “community of people—not a political party.” It was named after an Islamic cleric based in Pennsylvania who “promotes a tolerant Islam,” the website said.
But Gulen, bbc.com said, “is regarded by followers as a spiritual leader and sometimes described as Turkey’s second most powerful man.”
The administration of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared Gulen as a terrorist group in May 2016. Ambassador Cankorur said the group has been in the Philippines since the late 1990s.
Erdogan had accused the Gulen of being behind the failed coup attempt against him in July 2016.
Other than that, there is no known terrorist attack attributed to the group. The United States does not classify the movement as a terrorist organization and has repeatedly denied Turkey’s demand for Gulen’s extradition.
In an interview with ANC on Wednesday, Cankorur said the Gulen was active in a school in Zamboanga City and two schools in Manila.
Cankorur said the movement’s claim of pursuing interfaith dialogue was just “a façade.”
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