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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel

    Merkel Withholds Turkish Proposal to Jointly Fight Gulen Movement

    © AFP 2019 / Tobias SCHWARZ
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    Germany is willing to cooperate with Turkey in the fight against the so-called Gulen movement in case Germany has issues with the group's activities, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) — The Gulen movement, also referred to as the Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) by Turkish security services, is led by Turkish Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen who has been living in exile in the United States since 1999.

    "If we have problems with the Gulen movement, and Turkey has the needed information, then our security services should discuss this," Merkel said, shown by the N24 channel, at a press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim during her one-day working visit to Turkey.

    In the same press conference, Yildirim called on Germany to make an effort at stepping up cooperation against FETO members in the country.

    "We need more significant cooperation with Germany and its support in the fight against FETO members," Yildirim said.

    The prime minister went on to admit that Turkish security services sometimes commit errors while fighting FETO, also thanking Germany for its support in the fight against the Daesh terrorist group (outlawed in Russia).

    Earlier in the day, Merkel spoke to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Following the meeting, Erdogan said that Turkey may send documents regarding to FETO exiles to German authorities. On Wednesday, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak claimed that Germany was sheltering Gulen supporters who fled Turkey following July's failed coup attempt.

    Gulen's followers have been accused by Ankara of being behind the July 15 military coup attempt by members of the Turkish military. Thousands of officials, chiefly education and legal employees, have been dismissed by Turkish authorities since the coup over alleged ties to FETO. Gulen, however, has himself denounced the coup and declared his innocence of ties to its perpetrators.


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