Turkey Gives Cleric Gulen Deadline to Return or Lose Citizenship

Published June 6th, 2017 - 06:00 GMT
Head of a Turkish parliamentary committee Resat Petek gestures as he delivers a speech during a press conference on the investigation of the coup attempt, in Ankara, on May 26, 2017. (STR/AFP)
Head of a Turkish parliamentary committee Resat Petek gestures as he delivers a speech during a press conference on the investigation of the coup attempt, in Ankara, on May 26, 2017. (STR/AFP)

Ankara warned US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, blamed for last year's failed coup, and dozens of others would lose Turkish citizenship if they did not return home within three months.

Authorities said a total of 130 people will be affected by the move which began on Monday, according to an interior ministry announcement published in the Official Gazette said.

The list also includes two lawmakers from the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democracy Party (HDP) Faysal Sariyildiz and Tugba Hezer.

The interior ministry said the list comprised people who are being investigated by the prosecutors and whose whereabouts are not known.

The government says the abortive July coup aimed at toppling President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was engineered by an Islamic movement led by Gulen, who has denied the charges.

On Saturday, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim's chief adviser was detained over suspected links to Gulen's movement, state media reported.

Birol Erdem, a former senior justice ministry official, was taken into custody in Ankara along with his wife Gulumser Erdem, Anadolu news agency said.

Over 100,000 people have been sacked or suspended from the public sector under a state of emergency imposed a few days after foiled putsch and renewed three times.

Human rights group criticise the vast crackdown, saying they have extended well beyond the coup suspects and targeted opponents of Erdogan.


Copyright @ 2021 The New Arab.

You may also like