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Turkey’s post-coup crisis arrives in Europe, dividing the diaspora

The showdown between Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen following the July 15 coup is not only dividing Europe’s Turkish communities but it's also sowing discord within the diaspora.

In the southern German city of Stuttgart, 15 members of a local football team quit last month after threats vowing to “drink the evil in our blood” targeted the club on social media sites. In the picturesque French town of Sens, a cultural centre was vandalised and burned just a day after the failed July 15 coup in Turkey.

Meanwhile in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, a cultural centre was pelted with stones for two nights in a row, and in Beringen, Belgium, a building used by a Belgian-Turkish NGO was attacked when a mob descended on the premises and reportedly tried to set fire to the building.

From a local German football club to a Dutch cultural centre to a Belgian meeting room, the one thing linking these places is their real or alleged links to the Gulen Movement.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has blamed the movement’s founder, Fethullah Gulen, for the failed July coup, an allegation the US-based cleric has denied.

But that has not stemmed the purges and crackdowns in Turkey, where more than 70,000 people have been either suspended or fired for alleged links to the movement.

Read more: Turkey’s post-coup crisis arrives in Europe, dividing the diaspora - France 24

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