Gülen’s passport has been canceled, Turkey tells US
ANKARAAnkara has informed U.S. officials that the Turkish passport of Fethullah Gülen, a Pennsylvania-based Islamic scholar accused of building a “parallel structure” within the Turkish state seeking to topple to the government, has been canceled.
The move comes as Turkey seeks to ramp up pressure on the U.S. to deport Gülen.
Gülen received his passport upon a “false statement,” so it was cancelled on Jan. 28, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Feb. 3. The report speculated that this could lead to Gülen’s deportation if a similar false statement was used in his application for a U.S. Green Card, quoting Michelle Estlund, an American lawyer specializing on Red Bulletin issues, as well as Turkish lawyers.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has repeatedly said that he wants the U.S. to deport Gülen, referring to coup and spying allegations against suspected sympathizers of his movement.
“I think his deportation, rather than his return to Turkey, would be appreciate,” Erdoğan said in an interview broadcast on Jan. 30, calling on Washington to fulfil a task for its “strategic partner” Turkey.
The Gülen movement is accused of being behind Turkey’s largest ever corruption probe that shook the country in December 2013, including allegations against Erdoğan’s family members and a number of former ministers.
The case was subsequently quashed by courts and a parliamentary commission.