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Gulen calls on US to reject Turkey extradition bid

US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen yesterday called on the United States to reject Turkey's request to extradite him.

"I urge the US government to reject any effort to abuse the extradition process to carry out political vendettas," Gulen said in a statement released by the Alliance for Shared Values, a group associated with the cleric.

Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, described the accusations that he orchestrated the coup attempt as "ridiculous".

"Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan today once again demonstrated he will go to any length necessary to solidify his power and persecute his critics," Gulen said in the statement.

The Turkish prime minister said his government has formally asked Washington to extradite Gulen yesterday.

However, a White House spokesman said Gulen is protected by the law, noting that President Barack Obama has discussed Gulen's extradition request with Erdogan by telephone.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Turkey must provide evidence of Gulen's involvement in the failed coup attempt.

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