Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Tanzania on January 22 to launch a three-nation East Africa tour to crack down against Fethullah Gulen, an exiled cleric who he blames for last year’s failed coup.
As reported online by the Middle East Eye, Erdogan is targeting an international network of charities and schools affiliated with a movement run by US-based Gulen.
“We will raise the issue of FETO’s activities in African countries like Tanzania, Mozambique and others,” Erdogan told reporters, referring to Gulen’s network, which Erdogan has dubbed the Fethullah Terror Organisation (FETO).
“We will raise with our counterparts what our expectations are in regards to the fight against FETO,” he said before leaving on a five-day tour which will also take him to Mozambique and Madagascar.
Following July’s failed coup, Turkey launched a major crackdown. It has so far detained more than 43,000 people over alleged links to Gulen, with Erdogan vowing to eradicate any social, charitable or commercial activity with ties to the preacher’s Hizmet movement, according to the Middle Eastern Eye.
Gulen vehemently denies he was behind the attempted putsch. A reclusive figure, he has lived in self-imposed exile in the US state of Pennsylvania since 1999.