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Gulen blasts 'despicable' 2016 Turkey coup bid, subsequent 'witch hunt'

Gulen's statement came a day before Turkey marks the first anniversary of a military-led bid to seize power from Erdogan.

Published: 15th July 2017 12:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th July 2017 12:45 AM   |  A+A-

The government has blamed the coup of the influential movement led by U.S.-based Gulen, who runs a network of schools, dormitories, media outlets, universities, and whose followers are accused of infiltrating state institutions. (AP Photo/Chris Post, File

By AFP

WASHINGTON: US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, the man blamed by Turkey for a failed coup attempt a year ago, on Friday again denied any involvement in what he called a "despicable putsch," and called on Ankara to end its "witch hunt" of his followers.

"Accusations against me related to the coup attempt are baseless, politically motivated slanders," Gulen, who lives in a compound in rural Pennsylvania, said in a statement.

"I reiterate my condemnation of the despicable putsch and its perpetrators," he said while decrying a government "witch hunt to weed out anyone it deems disloyal to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his regime."

Gulen's statement came a day before Turkey marks the first anniversary of a military-led bid to seize power from Erdogan.

Some 50,000 people have been arrested and over 100,000 fired or suspended from their jobs as Erdogan seeks to clean house.
 



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