Europe

Turkey coup attempt: Court issues arrest warrant for Fethullah Gulen

Fethullah Gulen Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Fethullah Gulen lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania in the US

A court in Istanbul has issued an arrest warrant for US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen over Turkey's recent failed coup, media reports say.

The warrant accuses Mr Gulen of "ordering the 15 July coup attempt", the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Turkey has repeatedly urged the US to extradite Mr Gulen. He denies any role.

Turkey has cracked down heavily on those it believes responsible for the coup attempt, with much of the emphasis on perceived supporters of the cleric.

Tens of thousands of public sector workers have been suspended or dismissed, with many having their passports cancelled. There has also been a massive reshuffle of the military.

About 18,000 people have been detained or arrested.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also pledged to tackle businesses linked to Mr Gulen.

He told heads of the chambers of commerce in Ankara on Thursday: "This organisation has an extension in the business world. Maybe it is what they are most powerful at. Because it is a rule: no project can be successful without financing.

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Media captionThe women regarded as heroes after Turkey's failed coup attempt

"We are determined to totally cut off all business links of this organisation, which has blood on its hands."

More than 270 people died in events surrounding the coup attempt.

Mr Gulen lives in self-imposed exile in the US state of Pennsylvania.

Turkey has yet to make a formal request for his extradition. The US has said its judiciary will consider a request when filed. It also asked for evidence of the cleric's involvement, which Turkey says it has supplied.