- Associated Press - Thursday, June 30, 2016

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) - A lawyer representing the Turkish government says he’ll continue exposing what he calls the “unlawful conduct” of a reclusive Muslim cleric in Pennsylvania whom Turkey’s president accuses of orchestrating a coup attempt.

Robert Amsterdam released a statement Thursday, one day after a federal judge in Scranton dismissed his lawsuit against Fethullah Gulen.

“Despite the outcome of this ruling, a very clear message has been sent to Gulen and his co-conspirators in the Poconos: the days of impunity are numbered, and your unlawful conduct will be brought to light,” Amsterdam said.

The suit contended Gulen ordered sympathetic police, prosecutors and judges in Turkey to target members of a rival spiritual movement critical of his teachings. The legal action was filed as part of a crackdown on the Turkish cleric and his followers by President Recep Erdogan.

U.S. District Judge Robert Mariani threw out the suit on Wednesday, ruling the claims did not belong in U.S. courts.

Gulen’s attorneys had called the legal action an attempt by Erdogan to silence Gulen, who has criticized the Turkish leader.

Erdogan has launched a broad campaign against Gulen’s movement in Turkey and abroad. The Erdogan regime has carried out a purge of civil servants suspected of ties to the movement, seized businesses and closed some media organizations. Gulen has been charged criminally with plotting to overthrow the government, and was placed on trial in absentia in Turkey earlier this year.

With the backing of the Turkish government, Amsterdam also has focused on a network of about 150 publicly funded U.S. charter schools started by Gulen’s followers.

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