Turkey issues arrest warrant for Fetullah Gulen
Arrest warrant in absentia issued for US-based preacher Fetullah Gulen for attempting to overthrow Turkish government
By Adem Demir and Hikmet Faruk Baser
Turkey on Thursday issued an arrest warrant in absentia for the U.S.-based preacher Fetullah Gulen on charges of leading the deadly July 15 coup attempt by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
The ruling came from an Istanbul court after public prosecutor Can Tuncay requested the arrest warrant for Gulen for the first time since the coup attempt.
The court ruled the FETO terrorist organization targeted Turkey's security units and aimed to change the constitutional order of the state by infiltrating the Turkish Armed Forces on July 15 across the country, particularly in Istanbul and Ankara.
FETO had aimed to be a worldwide political and economic power, the court ruled, attributing to several crimes committed by the group during the foiled putsch, which claimed 238 lives and injured at least 2,000 others.
The arrest warrant was issued for Gulen on charges of "attempting to overthrow the Turkish government or to prevent it from functioning", "depriving citizens of their liberty by using force, threat or fraud", "attempting to assassinate the president", "attempting to demolish the Turkish parliament with the aim of preventing it from functioning ", "attempting to overthrow the constitutional order" and multiple counts of murder.
Gulen, who has been in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, is also accused of implementing a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary, forming what is commonly known as "the parallel state".
Reporting by Adem Demir and Hikmet Faruk Baser; Writing by Sibel Ugurlu