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State Police Surround Turkish Retreat Center in Poconos

Fethullah Gulen

ROSS TOWNSHIP, MONROE COUNTY, Pa. — State police vehicles were outside a Turkish retreat center near Saylorsburg all morning Wednesday.

It’s the home of Turkish cleric who’s made international news.

In a news release, the group that runs the retreat said, “At around 8:30 am this morning, an unknown man, who appeared to be armed, attempted to enter the retreat center in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, that has been the longtime home of Fethullah Gulen. A guard reacted to the situation with a warning shot in the air and the person fled. Police are searching for the person at this time. “

State Police have said they are investigating an incident at the retreat in Ross Township.  A State Police report described the suspect as an “Unknown Caucasian male wearing all dark clothing”.  The report said the investigation is continuing.

State police vehicles were parked at the front entrance of the retreat where Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen lives.

Gulen is one of Turkey’s most wanted clerics who has lived in Monroe County for decades. He was blamed in a failed government overthrow attempt in Turkey back in 2016.

The group’s news release continued, “No injuries were reported, and the immediate threat appears to be over. Retreat center staff is fully cooperating with the state police to investigate the incident. All further questions about the incident should be directed to the state police who responded.

The attempted armed entry comes on the heels of Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin speaking recently that Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization would launch overseas “operations” against supporters of Mr. Gulen. And it is well-known that the Turkish government under Recep Tayyip Erdogan has devised kidnapping plots against Mr. Gulen, as well as executed successful kidnappings of his supporters around the world.

We urge the US authorities to continue to hold Turkey accountable for its actions and threats against innocent people both here in the United States and abroad.”

Troopers were seen walking around the front of the center.   Several cars have left the retreat though we don’t know who those people are in the cars.

Fethullah Gulen is a Turkish imam and Islamic scholar who has been living in Pennsylvania in the Saylorsburg area in a compound just off Mount Eaton Road. It’s called the Golden Generation Worship and Retreat Center.

After violent clashes in Turkey several years ago, protesters gathered near the compound denouncing Gulen and his followers.

Gulen’s religious and social teachings and movement are referred to as Hizmet.

While Turkey’s president and others condemn Gulen, others support him and the center.

You can find more developing information on this story from our sister station from this link.