Gulen Involvement in Turkey’s Coup Backed by ‘Circumstantial’ Evidence

© REUTERS / Greg Savoy/Reuters TVUS-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose followers Turkey blames for a failed coup, pauses before speaking to journalists in this still image taken from video, at his home in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania July 16, 2016.
US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose followers Turkey blames for a failed coup, pauses before speaking to journalists in this still image taken from video, at his home in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania July 16, 2016. - Sputnik International
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Former US Ambassador to Turkey Ross Wilson claims that circumstantial evidence exists that Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen's Hizmet network supported the military coup to oust Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

FILE – In this March 15, 2014 file photo, Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, sits at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, United States. - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Circumstantial evidence exists that Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen's Hizmet network supported the military coup to oust Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, former US Ambassador to Turkey Ross Wilson told Sputnik.

"The fact is the coup was carried out in part by the military but with the support of a substantial civilian network," Wilson said. "The only organization that has that kind of network and can operate in a secret manner would be the Gulen Movement. There is at least circumstantial evidence that points in that direction."

The Turkish government, Wilson noted, has issued an arrest warrant for Gulen and US Department of Justice officials traveled to Ankara this week to assess the evidence, Wilson noted.

Erdogan claims that Gulen is responsible for instigating the coup from his residence-in-exile in Saylorsburg, located in the US state of Pennsylvania.

Gulen denies involvement and has hired the powerful Washington, DC, law firm of Steptoe and Johnson to fight Turkey's extradition request.

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