Egypt has not received political asylum request from Turkish cleric Gulen: PM

Ahram Online , Thursday 28 Jul 2016

Turkish authorities have accused Gulen of orchestrating the attempted coup of 15 July, though he denied involvement

U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose followers Turkey blames for a failed coup, is shown in still image taken from video, as he speaks to journalists at his home in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania July 16, 2016 (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt says it has not received any request for political asylum from Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who has been accused of masterminding the failed coup attempt in Turkey earlier this month.

Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said that if Gulen submitted any such request, Egyptian authorities would consider it.

Earlier this week, an Egyptian MP demanded that the Egyptian government grant asylum to the Turkish opposition leader, who is in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999.

The cleric, once an ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, condemned the failed coup and said that he played no role in it, suggesting that the putsch may have been orchestrated by Erdogan himself.

The attempted military takeover resulted in the deaths of over 230 people and has since prompted a wide-ranging purge of state institutions that has targeted more than 60,000 persons, including soldiers, police, judges and civil servants. The arrests and suspensions have drawn fire from the European Union.

Relations between Turkey and Egypt have been strained since the 2013 ouster of Egypt’s Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, a close ally of Erdogan's AKP (Justice and Development Party) government. Erdogan has repeatedly slammed Morsi's removal as an "unacceptable coup."

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