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May 16, 2017  13:24

‘The West must help Turkey’ – Fethullah Gulen publishes article at The Washington Post

US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen published an article entitled “The Turkey I no longer know” at The Washington Post ahead of the meeting between US President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

STEPANAKERT, MAY 16,  ARTSAKHPRESS-ARMENPRESS: “The Turkey that I once knew as a hope-inspiring country on its way to consolidating its democracy and a moderate form of secularism has become the dominion of a president who is doing everything he can to amass power and subjugate dissent. The West must help Turkey return to a democratic path. Tuesday’s meeting, and the NATO summit next week, should be used as an opportunity to advance this effort”, Gulen said.

He stated that after the July 15 military coup attempt, Erdogan has systematically persecuted innocent people — arresting, detaining, firing and otherwise ruining the lives of more than 300,000 Turkish citizens.

Fethullah Gulen highlighted that he condemned the coup attempt from the very start and denied any involvement, however, Erdogan immediately accused him of orchestrating it.

Gulen identified two key measures that are critical to reversing the democratic regression in Turkey. The first one is the development of new civilian constitution, and the second one is the school curriculum which must emphasize democratic and pluralistic values.

“Before either of those things can happen, the Turkish government must stop the repression of its people and redress the rights of individuals who have been wronged by Erdogan without due process. I probably will not live to see Turkey become an exemplary democracy, but I pray that the downward authoritarian drift can be stopped before it is too late”, Gulen concludes the article.

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