Muslim Cleric Fethullah Gulen Accused of “ordering the July 15 coup”
Thursday, Turkey issued a formal arrest warrant for US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen after the 15 July military coup attempt aimed at ousting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan failed.
An Istanbul Court issued the warrant, the 1st after the failed putsch for the reclusive cleric in Pennsylvania, the Anadolu news agency said.
In the warrant, Gulen stands accused of “ordering the July 15 coup,” Anadolu reported.
Gulen strongly denies any involvement and the movement he leads insists it is a charitable network promoting tolerant Islam.
Turkey previously issued an arrest warrant for Gulen in December 2014 on charges of setting up and directing an “armed terrorist organization” as well as using intimidation to deprive a person of their freedom.
Turkey has frequently called on the United States to extradite Gulen, sending 2 sets of documents to Washington since the coup as evidence of his involvement in the putsch attempt.
Turkey has not yet made a formal extradition request to the US for cleric.
A faction within the Turkish military tried to wrest control of the country on 15 July launching attacks on parliament and the President’s palace.
At least 238 people were killed and nearly 2,200 injured after people took to the streets and squares against the putschists.
Since then thousands have been purged from their roles in the judiciary, police, military and education system, accused of being members of the coup movement while more than 18,000 people have been detained.