Turkey targets hundreds of people tied to US cleric for arrests

Source: The Hill | February 18, 2020 | Justine Coleman

The Turkish government is targeting hundreds of people tied to a U.S. cleric who it blames for the attempted coup in 2016 against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Turkish authorities have issued detention warrants for 695 people connected to cleric Fethullah Gulen, state media reported, according to The Associated Press. The government is focusing on detaining followers of Gulen, saying the group presents a national security threat.

Prosecutors are aiming to detain 467 Gulen followers, who they say cheated in a 2009 police superintendent promotion exam to infiltrate government positions. They said other raids were being conducted in 67 provinces across the country, AP reported, citing state media Anadolu Agency.


Gulen, the cleric in question, has been in self-imposed exile in the U.S. since 1999 and denies that he was involved in the 2016 events.

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