Turkish Cleric Gulen, Blamed for Failed Coup, Risks Losing Citizenship

Fethullah Gulen is among 130 people wanted by Turkish authorities who are in danger of being stripped of their citizenship unless they return

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Police officers escort women arrested on suspicion of having links with U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen into a courthouse in Bursa, Turkey, April 27, 2017.
Police officers escort women arrested on suspicion of having links with U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen into a courthouse in Bursa, Turkey, April 27, 2017.Credit: Berktug Oncu/AP

Turkish authorities say U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is blamed for last year's coup, will lose his Turkish citizenship if he fails to return to Turkey within three months.

In a decision printed in the Official Gazette on Monday, the Interior Ministry named Gulen among 130 people wanted by authorities and who risk being stripped of their citizenship unless they return.

The group also includes two legislators from Turkey's pro-Kurdish party, Faysal Sariyildiz and Tugba Hezer, who face terrorism-related charges in Turkey and are believed to be in Europe.

They face a possible loss of benefits if they are stripped of citizenship. Gulen, a U.S. resident, likely would feel little impact from losing citizenship.

Gulen has denied Turkish accusations of orchestrating the failed military coup and wants him extradited.

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