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Thursday, April 19, 2018, 

Erdogan asks Tanzania to act against Gulen network

Erdogan asks Tanzania to act against Gulen network

Dar es Salaam, 23 January 2017 (MIA) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday asked his Tanzanian counterpart John Magufuli to take action against the network of an exiled cleric he blames for last year's failed coup, AFP reports. 

The Hizmet movement run by US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, is linked to a network of schools across the world, including in Africa, and the Turkish president is rallying leaders on the continent to help him fight the influence of his longtime rival.

"The party that wants to overthrow me isn't only in Turkey... I am convinced that Tanzania will from now on take measures against this terrorist organisation," Erdogan said after meeting Magufuli.

It was not clear what action he had asked Tanzania to take against the schools, which are believed to be affiliated with Gulen's movement. They are extremely popular among the country's middle class and often among the best performing schools.

Turkish officials accuse Gulen of using his vast private education network to build influence and of running a "parallel state" inside Turkey.

Gulen, a former Erdogan ally, vehemently denies the allegations. A reclusive figure, he has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999.

Hizmet describes itself as promoting Islam through charity efforts and educational work in countries stretching from Turkey to Africa and Central Asia to the United States. lk/20:28

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