SAYLORSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Turkey’s President blames the coup attempt on a muslim cleric living in the Poconos. He spoke out today, and he wasn’t the only one doing the talking.
Hundreds of people protested outside of Fethullah Gulen’s home in Monroe County. Eyewitness News reporter Haley Bianco was in Saylorsburg.
Fatullah Gulen denies involvement in the failed coup. Meanwhile, Turkish-American protesters are angry and fearful of what is happening to their home country. They were all saying the same thing. They are in support of democracy, and are against the military coup.
“This is not acceptable,” said a protester.
“We believe that the main person behind this military coup attempt is someone living in this area, that’s why we are here,” said Yasar Colak, a Turkish protester.
Protesters by the hundreds filled the street outside Fethullah Gulen’s Saylorsburg home on Mt. Eaton Road. After Turkey’s military attempted a coup Friday night, the Turkish government pointed fingers at Gulen, an exiled cleric living in Saylorsburg.
“He declares himself a religious cleric, whose name is Fethullah Gulen, who lives over here,” said Mustafa Tuncer, a Turkish protester.
Hundreds of people gathered outside the gates of Gulen’s home to protest his ideas. Gulen did not leave his home to speak to the mob. Protesters say if he did, they would say:
“Stop undermining my country, you are not doing good. What you are doing is damaging the right image of my country,” said Colak.
The protesters came from neighboring states, many driving hours to get there to support their country’s president — who demanded the United States arrest or extradite Gulen.
“Take off your bloody hands from our Turkish nation and take off your bloody hands from our democracy,” said Tuncer.
Gulen has denied involvement with the coup.
“My message to Turkish people is never to view any military intervention positively and sympathetically, because through military interventions democracy can not be achieved,” said Gulen, with the help of a translator.
Protesters say they will continue to fight for democracy and show support for their country.
“The protest is not going to be ending here. Our protesting is going to be taken to Washington D.C., yesterday it was in Times Square, and it’s going to take place throughout the United States and in every part of the world,” added a protester.
The Turkish President has declared that the government has control of the situation.