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Fethullah Gulen
Image: Reuters/C. Mostoller

Turkey officially requests Gulen arrest

September 13, 2016

The Turkish government has made its first formal request of the US to arrest Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen. Turkey suspects Gulen was behind a failed coup attempt in July.


According to Turkish media, Turkey's justice ministry has formally requested that the United States arrest Fethullah Gulen, an Turkish Islamic cleric who lives in the US, for "ordering and commanding the attempted coup" of July 15.

This is the first time Turkish officials have requested Gulen's arrest, although they have made several attempts to have Gulen extradited.

The US has said it wants additional evidence from Turkey to substantiate its claim that Gulen was behind the overthrow attempt in July. US officials also deny claims that they knew of the coup attempt before it happened.

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. Erdogan and the Turkish government place the blame for the coup on Gulen and his sympathizers.

Gulen denies any involvement in the coup attempt. US officials have said that any decision on whether to act on Turkey's requests will be based on US law and not on political factors.

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

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