Turkey issues arrest orders for Gulen supporters | News | DW | 27.09.2016
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Turkey issues arrest orders for Gulen supporters

According to Turkish media, a crackdown on supporters of cleric Fethullah Gulen has been launched by the government. President Erdogan and his supporters blame Gulen for a failed coup attempt in July.

Turkey's state-run media reported Tuesday that authorities have launched a crackdown against followers of Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric living in exile, for his alleged role in the failed coup of July 15.

Detention warrants were issued for 121 people on Tuesday, and operations are underway in 18 cities to arrest suspects. That includes the director of a charity linked to Gulen, called Kimse Yok Mu.

In addition, 87 members of Turkey' National Intelligence Agency were released on Tuesday for having suspected ties to Gulen.

In the wake of the failed coup by a faction within the military, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling AK Party have purged tens of thousands of people in the judiciary, military, civil service and education sector over alleged links to the coup plotters.

Erdogan and the Turkish government place the blame for the coup, in which more than 200 people were killed and jets bombed parliament, on Gulen and his sympathizers.

Gulen lives in self-imposed exile in the United States. He was once an ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but the relationship between the two has shifted dramatically in recent years. Turkey has formally requested his extradition and arrest from US authorities.

mz/kl (Reuters, dpa, AP, AFP)

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