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  Turkey vows to uproot Gulen movement

Turkey vows to uproot Gulen movement

REUTERS
Published : Jul 20, 2016, 2:20 am IST
Updated : Jul 20, 2016, 2:20 am IST

Turkey vowed to root out allies of the US-based cleric it blames for an abortive coup last week, after an already deep purge of the army, police and judiciary, and said on Tuesday it had sent Washingt

Turkey vowed to root out allies of the US-based cleric it blames for an abortive coup last week, after an already deep purge of the army, police and judiciary, and said on Tuesday it had sent Washington evidence of his wrongdoing.

President Tayyip Erdogan and the government accuse Fethullah Gulen of orchestrating a failed military takeover on Friday in which at least 232 people were killed, and have called in speeches for his extradition from the United States.

Mr Gulen has denied any involvement in the coup bid, suggesting Erdogan staged it as an excuse for a crackdown.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim accused Washi-ngton, which said it will only consider extradition if clear evidence is provided, of double standards in its fight against terrorism.

Mr Yildirim said the justice ministry had sent a dossier to US authorities on Mr Gulen, a former Erdogan ally whose religious movement blends conservative, Islamic values with a pro-Western outlook and who has a network of supporters within Turkey.

“We have more than enough evidence, more than you could ask for, on Gulen,” justice minister Bekir Bozdag told reporters outside parliament. “There is no need to prove the coup attempt, all evidence shows that the coup attempt was organised on his will and orders.” The broad crackdown and calls to reinstate the death penalty for plotters have drawn appeals from Western allies for Ankara to uphold the rule of law in the country, a Nato member bordering the chaos of Syria whose cooperation in the fight against Islamic State is crucial to Washington. Ankara says followers of Mr Gulen, who lives on a compound in the Pocono mountains of rural Pennsylvania, have infiltrated Turkey’s institutions and are running a “parallel state”. Western leaders have expressed solidarity with the government over the coup attempt but also alarm at the sweeping response, urging Turkey, where tensions are running high after the coup bid, to adhere to democratic values. Meanwhile, Mr Yildirim said his government had sent four files to the US, as Ankara seeks the extradition of US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen over his alleged links to Friday’s attempted coup. “We have sent four dossiers to the United States for the extradition of the terrorist chief. We will present them with more evidence than they want,” Binali Yildirim told parliament.

Mr Gulen has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999 and has denied any involvement in the putsch

Location: Turkey, Istanbul