Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
has said the choice on whether to return or not return is up to the Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen himself, following Gülen's remarks that he is likely to stay in the United States, according to daily Hürriyet.
"I knew there was such an expectation," Erdoğan told press members ahead of a planned Mexico visit. "I wanted to share that expectation with all those who were present at the Turkish Olympics finale."
Erdoğan also said that he had spoken to Gülen previously about his return.
"We told him that we didn't feel it was right that he was living away from home," he said. "This wasn't the first time I used this expresssion. We told him we were ready to do our part if he decided to come back."
"We wanted to eliminate any negative views on this," Erdoğan added. "There is nothing that legally blocks him. The choice is up to [Gülen]. But from what he has been saying, he is not at the moment considering coming back."