Fri, Oct 21, 2016 | updated 08:23 PM IST

Turkish President calls on U.S. to send rival cleric home

Updated: Jul 17, 2016 09:59 IST

Washington D.C., July 17 (ANI): Asserting that he had his government back in control, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the United States to either arrest or extradite exiled Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, who was clearly to blame for the coup attempt that ended up with nearly 200 people dead.

According to CNN, Gulen, who is living in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, suggested that overthrow and assassination attempts have been staged in the past, though he did not directly accuse Erdogan of deliberately plunging Turkey into chaos.

However, less than 24 hours after a night of deadly violence, questions remained unanswered about who was behind the coup and why they decided to act now.

Erdogan's call for U.S. involvement in punishing the cleric comes after Turkish authorities closed the airspace around Turkey's Incirlik Air Base, where his government allows the American military to launch operations in the air campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

"This country suffered a lot in the hands of the Gulen Movement. I call on the United States and President Barack Obama to either arrest Fethullah Gulen or return him to Turkey. If we are strategic partners or model partners, do what is necessary," Erdogan said near his home in Istanbul. (ANI)