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Iran Press TV

Turkey denies planning to kidnap US-based cleric Gulen

Iran Press TV

Sun Nov 12, 2017 02:05PM

Turkey has denied reports in the US media that it has discussed a plan with former US intelligence officials to have opposition figure Fethullah Gulen abducted in the US.

Turkey's embassy in Washington said Sunday that Ankara was still pursuing legal channels to urge Washington to hand over Gulen so that he could stand trial over accusations of masterminding the last year coup attempt.

The embassy said in its statement on Twitter that "allegations that Turkey would resort to means external to the rule of law" were rejected.

It called the Friday report in The Wall Street Journal about a secret plan for kidnapping Gulen as "ludicrous and groundless". The US newspaper said in its report that an investigation was underway by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into an alleged plot to forcibly remove Gulen and hand over him to Ankara in return for as much as $15 million. It said Turkish authorities had allegedly discussed the matter with former US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and his son.

Gulen and people involved in his global network of education and religious activities are blamed for the July 15, 2016 coup in Turkey that left some 250 people dead. Some 50,000 people have been jailed on suspicions of links to Gulen while 150,000 more have been discharged from their jobs in the government and the military over same allegations.

Since Turkey launched its crackdown right after the coup, Gulen denied the accusations and said that the purges could be a show by the government to muzzle the dissent and consolidate the power at the hands of the ruling Justice and Development Party.

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