Top EU figure recognizes Gülen’s role in Turkey coup bid
ANKARA - Anadolu AgencyClaims about the role of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen in Turkey’s foiled coup attempt on July 15 are “not total nonsense,” European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans has said.
In an interview with a Belgian magazine published on Nov. 15, Timmermans said U.S. investigations pointed to “growing indications that the [Gülen] movement certainly played a role” in the coup attempt.
“It is now clear that what [Turkish] President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan says about the role of the Gülen movement in the coup is not total nonsense,” he said.
“I think the Turks have a point when they say that there was very little empathy from the outside world in the foiled coup,” Timmermans added.
He also said Europe could have been “more generous in our support” and “underestimated what took place” in Turkey.
Timmermans’ statement marks the first time a senior European Commission official has spoken of Gülen’s involvement in the coup attempt.
Ankara has repeatedly said the Fethullahist Terroristist Organization (FETÖ) was behind the attempted coup, which led to the deaths of 246 people, and Turkey has stepped up demands for Gülen’s extradition from the U.S.