Arrest warrant issued for US-based Turkish cleric

Arrest warrant issued for US-based Turkish cleric

Arrest warrant issued for US-based Turkish cleric

In this March 15, 2014, file photo, Turkish Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen is pictured at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pa. AP Photo

Arrest warrants have been issued for a U.S.-based Muslim cleric, who Turkey’s president accuses of attempting to topple the government, and his brother on terrorism charges, a Turkish prosecutor has said.

The chief public prosecutor’s office in the country’s eastern province of Erzurum said in a written statement signed by prosecutor Ahmet Çiçekli on March 7 that arrest warrants were issued for Fethullah Gülen and his brother, Salih Güven, on the charges of “membership of an armed terrorist organization,” “violating the constitution” and “major fraud.” 

A search was conducted in a printing house owned by the cleric’s brother in Erzurum upon a notice implicating the storage of information and documents related to “parallel structure” in the printing house, the prosecutor’s office added, with Gülen and his referenced in statement only by initials.

 “An investigation has been launched against the suspects F.G., S.G. and S.Y. by our Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on the charges of ‘membership of an armed terrorist organization,’ ‘violating the constitution’ and ‘major fraud’ upon the notice that information and documents were stored in the printing house owned by S.G., which is the brother of F.G.,” the prosecutor’s office said, adding that S.Y., an administrative official from the printing house, was arrested within the investigation.

Gülen is accused by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and people from his inner circle along with leading profiles from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of forming and heading a terrorist organization – publicly dubbed as the “parallel structure” – with the U.S.-based Muslim cleric’s alleged sympathizers working in the police and other state institutions as insiders.