State Police Surround Turkish Retreat Center

ROSS TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- State police vehicles were outside a Turkish retreat center near Saylorsburg all morning Wednesday.

It's the home of Turkish cleric who's made international news.

State police said they responded to the Golden Generations Retreat Center near Saylorsburg for the report of a weapon being fired.

Troopers said a security guard fired a weapon near the location of an unwanted person outside the security gate. The unidentified person fled the scene and troopers could not locate him.

The retreat center is where Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen lives.

Gulen is one of Turkey's most wanted clerics who has lived in Monroe County for decades. He was blamed in a failed government overthrow attempt in Turkey back in 2016.

Alliance for Shared Values, the organization the operates the center, issued a statement on the incident:

"At around 8:30 a.m. this morning, an unknown man, who appeared to be armed, attempted to enter the retreat center in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, that has been the longtime home of Fethullah Gulen. A guard reacted to the situation with a warning shot in the air and the person fled. Police are searching for the person at this time. No injuries were reported, and the immediate threat appears to be over. Retreat center staff is fully cooperating with the state police to investigate the incident. All further questions about the incident should be directed to the state police who responded.

The attempted armed entry comes on the heels of Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin speaking recently that Turkey’s national intelligence organization would launch overseas “operations” against supporters of Mr. Gulen. And it is well known that the Turkish government under Recep Tayyip Erdogan has devised kidnapping plots against Mr. Gulen, as well as executed successful kidnappings of his supporters around the world.

We urge the U.S. authorities to continue to hold Turkey accountable for its actions and threats against innocent people both here in the United States and abroad."

State police said the investigation is continuing.

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