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Undated footage appears to show Gulen calling for violent revolution

Footage - circulated again this week by a pro-government newspaper - appears to show cleric planning to bribe judges to help his movement
Fetullah Gulen leads the Hizmet movement, which opponents accuse of infiltrating state institutions (YouTube)

Newly circulated footage, which is undated but appears to date from several years ago, shows Fetullah Gulen, a Turkish Muslim scholar, saying that violent revolution is justified and that the time is ripe for it.

Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the US since 1999, is accused by Turkish authorities of being behind last Friday’s attempted military coup.

Thousands of alleged Gulen followers, both military and civilians, have been rounded up in Turkey in the days since the failed coup.

In the video, which was shared on Friday by pro-government newspaper Daily Sabah, Gulen is heard saying:

“Every step is a hasty step unless you have acquired the power to take control of all of Turkey’s constitutional institutions within its state structure.”

The quality of the video appears to suggest that it was filmed more than three years ago, before Gulen fell out with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP).

It was in 2013 that the erstwhile allies became implacable foes after alleged Gulenists in the police and judiciary initiated corruption probes against Erdogan and his inner circle.

In the video, Gulen also says that until his movement, known as Hizmet (Service), takes control, it is necessary for all supporters everywhere in the world to continue to serve the movement and assist it financially and otherwise.

In another section he talks of bribing judges and lawyers if necessary to achieve the movement’s goals in the courts.

“I tell our friends you will invest thousands and maybe get one person to support us. That’s why we will support prep schools. You will rent lawyers and judges if necessary.”

He also appears to give advice to his followers, saying that if they act too early or without sufficient preparation they will get crushed. He refers to the failed Islamist movements in Algeria and the events of 1982 in Hama, Syria - when government forces massacred thousands of people in response to a rebellion - as examples of acting in haste.

He also references Egypt and says hasty action will result in Turkey experiencing what Egypt experiences almost every year, making a reference to the pharaohs.

“We are living in an age of pharaohs and the time is ripe to end the reign of pharaohs,” he can be heard saying.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

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