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7/11/13

Turkey - USA: Large Group Of Anti-Government Protesters expected at Saylorsburg Pennsylvania Islamic Center on Saturday - by Jenna Ebersole

Fethullah Gülen
Hundreds of people from across North America are expected to flood Saylorsburg PA on Saturday to protest a controversial Turkish figure, Fethullah Gülen, who has lived in the area for more than a decade.

A Turkish couple in Florida said they began circulating a flier on social media two weeks ago, encouraging people to come to the Poconos to protest a man they say is a danger to the U.S. and their home country. The protest is set for 1 p.m. by Gülen's home and retreat center on Mount Eaton Road.

Gülen is a polarizing figure and Turkish cleric whose vision of Islam embraces science, education and interfaith dialogue. Millions support him, but his critics in Turkey's secular establishment believe he is a dangerous man with a secret religious agenda.

The protest comes on the heels of weeks of conflict on the streets of several Turkish cities against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who the couple claims is Gülen's puppet.

Turkish citizens first poured into the streets of Istanbul in May as protests began over a plan to redevelop a green space in the city. The protest spread to other cities as it grew into a larger movement against Turkish PM Erdogan and what some secular Turks see as his Islamist agenda and limitation of freedoms.

On a Facebook page about the protest, the event had 360 people listed to attend as of Tuesday afternoon.
"The protest will be peaceful and our message is clear, the USA should not shelter or host politically dangerous people like Gülen while it is fighting other extremists all over the world," the Facebook page says.

According to the page, the program for the protest will include the U.S. and Turkish national anthems, a moment of silence for anyone killed fighting extremists or in the war on terror, and information on Gülen.

"There will be buses coming from different states,"said  Eda Yilmaz one of the organizers who lives in Florida and supports the anti-Erdogan movement..

Read more: Protesters expected at Saylorsburg Islamic center | PoconoRecord.com

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