World Bulletin / News Desk
As a result of the Istanbul media raids it has been confirmed that there has been a warrant of arrest issued on the 18th December for US based cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Gulen was charged with “managing a terror organization", making person devoid of his freedom by using force, threat or trick and Causing any administrative or juridical sanctions except from jail for aggrieved by slandering him.
Gulen has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999. Erdogan portrays the investigation as part of a coup attempt and describes Gulen's followers as traitors and terrorists - all charges that Gulen, who runs a vast network of schools and business enterprises in Turkey and abroad, denies.
Officials at Gulen's headquarters in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, a complex of buildings surrounded by woodland, were not immediately available for comment.
In his request for a warrant, the prosecutor accused Gulen of heading a criminal gang. The charges include operating an armed terror group, which carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison, media including Aksam newspaper said.
Ankara can now apply to Washington for Gulen's extradition, with no guarantee of success. Erdogan's image in the West, once that of a moderate reformer, has been eroded as his open intolerance of opposition and of criticism has grown.
A court remanded Hidayet Karaca, who heads Samanyolu Television which is close to Gulen, and three other people in custody on accusations of belonging to a terrorist group.
The European Union, which Turkey is seeking to join, said last weekend's police raids to detain Karaca and other media workers violated European values. Erdogan told the bloc to mind its own business.Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Aralık 2014, 22:28