Turkey 'Used Imams for Data on Gulenists in Bulgaria'

World » SOUTHEAST EUROPE | December 9, 2016, Friday // 09:50
Bulgaria: Turkey 'Used Imams for Data on Gulenists in Bulgaria' A landmark mosque in central Sofia. Some of the data collected on alleged "Gülen supporters" across the world showed that some of them did not attend Friday prayers and did not go to mosques on festive days. File photo

Bulgaria is one of the fourteen EU member states from which Turkey has received data on supporters of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish daily reports.

Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) has used imams in a number of countries within and outside the EU to gather intelligence about Gülen followers and supporters, according to Hürriyet Daily News.

The total number of countries comprised by the "data collection" - thirty-eight - includes Norway and Switzerland.

From Bulgaria in particular, two reports were sent, one from the capital Sofia and another from the country's second-largest city Plovdiv.

Photos of individuals allegedly linked to Gulen's movement, which Turkey designates as a terrorist organization, were also included in Sofia of the files. It does not become immediately clear if that was the case with the two reports from Bulgaria.

Turkey blames Gülen and his movement for orchestrating the military coup attempt on July 15.

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Tags: turkey, Diyanet, Fethullah Gulen, Turkey coup, sofia, Plovdiv
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