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‘British MP receives more than £100,000 from Gulen-linked group’

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Conservative British MP Edward Garnier received more than £100,000 from the Gulen-linked Journalists and Writers Foundation (JWF) for co-authoring a human rights report, it has been claimed.

The British outlet The Times discovered that the JWF paid Garnier £115,994 for writing A Report on the Rule of Law and Respect for Human Rights in Turkey in September 2015.

Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric who fled to the US, founded JWF in 1994 in Istanbul. The 75-year-old cleric has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999 and denies Turkey’s claim that he was behind the recent coup attempt. In response to an extradition request, President Barack Obama has said Washington will only comply if Ankara provides proof of wrongdoing.

“Sir Edward’s report, which focused almost exclusively on actions by the Turkish government against Gulen-linked organizations, was released in late September and promoted by the London-based public relations company Hawthorn, which offers ‘reputation management’. Copies were sent to Philip Hammond, who was foreign secretary at the time, and David Cameron,” The Times report said.

“In March, Sir Edward joined in a Commons debate on the EU-Turkey migrant deal, raising ‘the serial and appalling human rights and rule of law abuses by the Turkish government’ and urging a reversal of the UK’s support for Turkey’s accession to the EU,” the newspaper added.

According to the report, Garnier rejected accusations of supporting Gulen and his organisation, saying that the report he co-authored was independently researched.

The report, however, primarily focuses on Turkish government abuses against institutions sympathetic to Gulen.

“The authors were requested by solicitors to the Journalists and Writers’ Foundation to conduct an independent desk-based inquiry into the actions of the Turkish government, its institutions and officials against supporters of the Gülen movement,” read the report.

Turkey’s government on Sunday dismissed nearly 1,400 military personnel, including a top aide to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the latest round of a sweeping purge following the failed coup.

More than 50,000 people have lost their jobs nationwide and more than 18,000 have been detained since the coup, in which rebel soldiers came up against loyal supporters of the president.

[Source: MEE]

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