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Gulen to be stripped of Turkish citizenship

Image of Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen [Twitter]
Fethullah Gülen, the Turkish cleric in self-imposed exile in the US, who has been accused of masterminding the Turkish coup attempt of July 2016 [Twitter]

Turkish authorities have said that the Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen will lose his citizenship if he fails to return to the country within three months.

Gulen, who is alleged to be behind last July’s failed coup, was named on a list of 130 people suspected of having links with militant groups that are also at risk of being stripped of their Turkish citizenship.

In a list of “fugitives from justice”, the interior ministry named Gulen along with pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers Faysal Sariyildiz and Tugba Hezer, and former HDP lawmaker Ozdal Ucer, reported Reuters.

Read: ‘New beginning’ with US, but hand over Gulen

The notice said the suspects identified in the list would be stripped of Turkish citizenship unless they returned to the country within the time limit stipulated and applied to the “relevant authorities”.

Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, has denied involvement in the coup and condemned it. The HDP also denies direct ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is considered a terrorist organisation by the United States, Turkey and the European Union.

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