Turkey’s Gulen Movement: 22 remanded in custody over ‘parallel state’ funding

Published June 2nd, 2016 - 06:30 GMT
US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen and his supporters are accused of attempting to overthrow the Turkish government. (AFP/File)
US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen and his supporters are accused of attempting to overthrow the Turkish government. (AFP/File)

A court in Ankara on Wednesday remanded 22 people in custody on suspicion of financing the “parallel state” group led by Fethullah Gulen.

Eight others were freed on bail by the Sixth Ankara Criminal Court of Peace following a series of arrests across five Turkish provinces on Tuesday.

It comes just days after the Turkish government offiicially designated Fethullah Gulen - a US-based cleric - and his supporters as a "terrorist" group, which Turkey is now calling the Fethullah Terrorist Organization, or FETO.

Gulen and his followers are accused of attempting to overthrow the Turkish government. Once one of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's allies, Gulen became one of his chief foes after a probe was launched into Erdogan's inner circle.

Another 16 people are still wanted, including nine thought to be in the US, according to a police source who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

Turkey has asked the US to extradite Gulen back to Turkey, a request the US has repeatedly denied. Gulen has lived in Pennslyvania since 1999.

According to the source, sums of $9,999 -- just below the level that requires reporting to the U.S. authorities -- were sent to the US-based group. Most was channeled through Turkey’s Bank Asya, which was close to the Gulen movement until it was taken over by the government in February last year.

Turkish investigators believe the money was earmarked for spending on US election donations, the source said.

Editor's note: This article has been edited from the source material.


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