EU anti-terror chief: Gülen network not terrorist organization

epa06016757 European counter-terrorism coordinator Gilles de Kerchove at the start of the Joint Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg, 08 June 2017. Ministers will discuss common areas related to criminal justice in cyberspace and the protection of children in migration. EPA/JULIEN WARNAND

Gilles de Kerchove said EU needs ‘substantive’ evidence to prove otherwise.


The EU doesn’t believe Fethullah Gülen’s network is a terrorist organization and is not “likely to change its position soon,” the bloc’s counter-terrorism coordinator told Reuters in an interview published Thursday.

Gilles de Kerchove said the EU would need “substantive” evidence to change its mind on the network of the cleric Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan blames for masterminding a coup against his government last year.

 Around 50,000 people have been detained and 150,000 suspended in Turkey because they are alleged to be linked to Gülen’s network, with the EU as well as countries including Germany and the U.S. raising concerns about the mass arrests.

Kerchove said that before someone is arrested, “concrete substantive data which shows that they were involved” must be obtained.


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