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US-based cleric denies involvement in Turkey coup bid

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and US-based Turkish Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen (R)The US-based cleric that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says is behind an attempted military coup in Turkey has denied any involvement, suggesting that the coup could have been staged by the president himself. Erdogan has accused Gulen, a reclusive Muslim cleric living in self-imposed exile in a mountain town in Pennsylvania, of being behind Friday’s bloody putsch attempt. The 75-year-old Gulen was once a close Erdogan ally but the two fell out in recent years as the Turkish president became suspicious of Gulen’s movement, Hizmet, and its powerful presence in Turkish society, including in the media, police and judiciary.

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