Former summer camp home to Muslim cleric blamed for coup in Turkey

A former summer camp property in Monroe County, Pennsylvania is home to a Muslim cleric the Turkish government has blamed for a failed military coup.

The 77-year-old Fethullah Gulen runs the Golden Generation Worship and Retreat Center in Saylorsburg, Pa. According to media accounts, the retreat center is located on the grounds of a former summer camp but I have been unable to find any details of the property’s former life as a camp.

The center dates back to at least 1992 when the 26-acre property was purchased for $250,000, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The center’s mission as stated on its website is to envision “an America whose people are honored by the presence of Muslims, and are aware of the values shared between Islam and those upon which America was founded. We envision an America whose institutions recognize and value the contributions that Islam and Muslims can make to its society.”

News of the Turkish government’s accusations, which Gulen denies, and calls on the U.S. for his extradition have led to protests at the gates of the retreat center and attention unlike anything the small town of about 1,100 people has probably ever seen.

Do you have memories or know anything about the camp that used to be located at Mount Eaton Road in Saylorsburg. Email us or share it in the comments.

Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at Tangzine.com and MatthewRalph.com. I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

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