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    Supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wave their national flags and hold a portrait of Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based Muslim cleric with Turkish words that read: the Coup nation traitor, FETO (Feto is the nickname of Fethullah Gulen), during a pro-government rally at Kizilay main square, in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, July 20, 2016

    Erdogan Files Lawsuit Against Presidential Candidate Over Gulen-Linked Statement

    © AP Photo / Hussein Malla
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    ANKARA (Sputnik) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has filed a lawsuit against Muharrem Ince, who is running for president in Turkey's June 24 election, over a statement he made about Erdogan's contacts with Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, the Anadolu news agency reported.

    The Anadolu news agency reported, citing the text of the lawsuit, that Ince's remark was false and an attack on Erdogan.

    Erdogan's lawyers have demanded compensation in the amount of some $21,000, the news outlet stated.

    Earlier in the month, media reported that Ince had inquired about Erdogan's 2001 visit to the US state of Pennsylvania, where Gulen has been living since 1999.

    Ince reportedly wanted to know whether the objective of Erdogan's visit was to receive approval from the cleric to create the Justice and Development Party (AKP).

    READ MORE: Turkish Presidential Candidate Vows to Leave NATO in Case of Election Victory

    Ankara accuses Gulen's movement of masterminding the attempted coup of July 2016, and has arrested thousands of military personnel, activists, officials, journalists, legal and educational workers over suspected links to the group. Gulen, who has been residing in the United States since 1999, refuted the allegations on numerous occasions.

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    Tags:
    accusations, attack, Justice and Development Party (AKP), Fethullah Gulen, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey
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