04:26 GMT +318 July 2018
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    In this Sept. 24, 2013 file photo, Turkish Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen is pictured at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pa.

    Erdogan's Opponent Gulen Denies Military Coup Attempt Links

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    Fethullah Gulen, a political exile living in the United States and founder of the influential Gulen movement, denies any involvement in the military coup attempt in Turkey, he said in a statement on Saturday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The coup attempt was suppressed by early Saturday, with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim stating that all coup supporters were identified and would be apprehended as the country was returning to normal life. Over 180 people were killed and 1,470 were injured during the events, while nearly 3,000 people have already been detained, according to the prime minister.

    "As someone who suffered under multiple military coups during the past five decades, it is especially insulting to be accused of having any link to such an attempt. I categorically deny such accusations," Gulen said in a statement received by the New York Times newspaper.

    He also condemned the coup attempt in the strongest terms saying that "government should be won through a process of free and fair elections, not force."

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other officials have blamed Gulen and his supporters for the coup attempt earlier in the day.

    Related:

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    Military Officer Fired for Gulenist Ties Named as Leader of Turkey's Coup
    Tehran Supports Security, Stability in Turkey, Condemns Coup Attempt
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    coup attempt in Turkey, Fethullah Gulen, Turkey
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