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'Warning shot' wards off intruder at exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen's Pennsylvania home, group says

A security guard fired a "warning shot" at an unknown man who tried to enter the eastern Pennsylvania compou...

Posted: Oct 4, 2018 7:03 AM
Updated: Oct 4, 2018 7:03 AM

A security guard fired a "warning shot" at an unknown man who tried to enter the eastern Pennsylvania compound of exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen -- an imam the Turkish government wants extradited -- on Wednesday morning, an organization tied to Gulen said.

The apparent intruder, who appeared to be armed, fled the area after the guard fired a warning shot into the air, the Alliance for Shared Values said in a statement.

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State troopers went to Gulen's gated home in the eastern Pennsylvania community of Saylorsburg shortly before 9 a.m. after receiving a report about the gunfire, Pennsylvania State Police said.

Gulen, 77, has been living in self-imposed exile in Saylorsburg after leaving Turkey in 1999.

Turkey's government has accused Gulen, the leader of a popular movement called Hizmet, of organizing a failed 2016 coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan -- an allegation Gulen has denied.

In Wednesday's incident, state police said the guard's weapon had been fired "near the location of an unwanted person outside the security gate."

"Troopers completed a search of the area and could not locate the unidentified person," and state police still are investigating, police said in a statement.

No injuries were reported, the Alliance for Shared Values said.

Coup attempt

Gulen's Hizmet movement has founded secular co-ed schools, free tutoring centers, hospitals and relief agencies that have been credited with addressing some of Turkey's social problems. But the Turkish government refers to his group as the Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organization, known as FETO.

In July 2016, a faction of the Turkish military attempted to overthrow Erdogan's government, but the uprising was put down the next day. Turkey alleged Gulen orchestrated the coup attempt and has asked the United States to extradite Gulen -- a request the US government has refused.

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