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Protesters Expected To Gather At Pa. Home Of Turkish Cleric

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Members of the Kurdish community in France burn a portrait of Turkish writer Fethullah Gulen on December 30, 2011 in Marseille, southern France, during a protest against an air strike by Turkish air force on the border with Iraq in southeastern Turkey that killed 35 Kurdish villagers. (credit: BORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images)

Members of the Kurdish community in France burn a portrait of Turkish writer Fethullah Gulen on December 30, 2011 in Marseille, southern France, during a protest against an air strike by Turkish air force on the border with Iraq in southeastern Turkey that killed 35 Kurdish villagers. (credit: BORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images)

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SAYLORSBURG, Pa. (AP) — Hundreds of people are expected to protest in front of the northeastern Pennsylvania compound of an influential Turkish cleric whom they accuse of secretly promoting a radical Islamist agenda.

Fethullah Gulen promotes interfaith dialogue, free enterprise and science-based education. The movement that bears his name runs schools and intercultural centers in Turkey and many other countries, including the United States.

Critics say Gulen’s moderate message hides a secret agenda to replace Turkey’s secular government with an Islamic theocracy.

A Turkish couple from Florida organized a protest to be held Saturday in front of Gulen’s compound in Saylorsburg. A Facebook page set up to promote the event says nearly 400 have registered to attend.

Gulen has lived in Pennsylvania for more than a decade. An email sent through his website seeking comment Wednesday was not immediately returned.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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