Shaking it up: Gulen accused of plotting earthquakes in Turkey
US-based cleric, Fethullah Gulen, is accused of plotting earthquakes in Turkey. (AFP/File)
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The US-based cleric who was blamed for last year's failed coup attempt in Turkey could be plotting earthquakes in the region, the mayor of Ankara suggested on Tuesday.
Fethullah Gulen, who had allegedly planned an earthquake before, could be behind recent tremors felt in Turkey, Mayor Melih Gokcek claimed in a series of tweets published on Twitter.
"No matter what they say, we continue to worry about the possibility of an artificial earthquake," Gökçek wrote, accusing "the Gulenist terrorist organisation (FETO) of previously attempting quakes".
"Their plan was failed after the strategy was disclosed to the public on that time. But currently they are trying to originate an economic crisis with the help of the major earthquake (artificial)," he wrote in English.
Meanwhile, a pro-government commentator accused the Gulen group and "deep NATO" - specified as the United States and Britain - of involvement in recent earthquakes, as part of what he described as a "multi-dimensional" coup plot.
"Look at the earthquake activity in the Aegean in the last month and analyse it with an honest seismologist. You will see that it is definitely not normal," he wrote on Twitter to almost 100,000 followers.
"Deep NATO and its chief pawn FETO has the option of an artificial earthquake in the multi-dimensional and gradual chaos coup process which they have planned for Turkey," he said.
The failed 15 July coup, which was blamed on Gulen, was an attempt by the military to seize control of the government, citing a perceived lack of secularism in the government's affairs.
Around 400 people died in the violence leading to swift and severe reprisals by the government.
Approximately 40,000 people were arrested and some 100,000 people lost their jobs for their alleged involvement in an clandestine group Ankara calls the "Fethullah [Gulen] Terrorist Organisation".
Human rights groups have criticised the arrests saying thousands of journalists, opposition politicians and members of Kurdish organisations are being held without evidence.