Turkey warns US-based Fethullah Gulen could lose citizenship

Turkey warns US-based Fethullah Gulen could lose citizenship
Turkey gave US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen and 130 others a three-month deadline to return home or face losing their citizenship.
2 min read
05 June, 2017
Gulen has been accused of plotting the failed July coup [Getty]

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.