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    Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen speaks to members of the media at his compound, Sunday, July 17, 2016, in Saylorsburg, Pa. Turkish officials have blamed a failed coup attempt on Gulen, who denies the accusation.

    Over 72,000 Sign Petition to Extradite Turkish Cleric Gulen From US

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    More than 72,000 people have signed a petition urging Washington to extradite US-based dissident Muslim cleric Muhammed Fethullah Gulen to Turkey following the coup attempt there, according to information provided on the White House website on Tuesday.

    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during an iftar event in Ankara, Turkey, June 27, 2016
    © REUTERS / Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Presidential Palace
    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On July 15, there was a coup attempt in Turkey that was suppressed the following day. Turkish officials have accused Gulen, who has lived in the US state of Pennsylvania since 1999, of orchestrating the failed military coup and are demanding that Washington extradite him.

    "On July 15, 2016 there was a coup attempt to overthrow the legitimately and democratically elected government of Turkey. Since than it has become clear that perpetrators were a small group of soldiers loyal to Fethullah Gulen and his FETO terrorist organization. Turkey has been and is our most dependable and long time ally in the Middle East. Gulen has been classified a terrorist by our allies in Turkey… Please help me to convince our president and our government that we as the United States should work with democratically elected authorities & governments. I would like our government to stop providing a safe haven to Fethullah Gulen and I want him delivered to turkey," the petition reads.

    According to the White House website, the petition needs some 28,000 more signatures by August 16 to merit an official response from the authorities.

    The Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO)/Parallel State Structure (PDY), made up of Gulen's supporters, is designated as a terrorist organization by Ankara. In 2014, Turkey opened an investigation into the organization's alleged efforts to overthrow the government.

    Related:

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    Turkish Chief of Staff Says Coup Plotters Tried to Make Him Talk to Gulen
    Turkey-US Ties to Be Affected If US Refuses to Extradite Cleric Gulen - FM
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    extradition, Fethullah Gulen, United States
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