U.S. started investigations against Gülen movement - Turkish foreign minister says

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Monday said the U.S. authorities started investigations against the supporters of Gülen movement, led by a U.S.-based Turkish cleric who Ankara accuses of masterminding the July 2016 coup attempt.

Çavuşoğlu said the U.S. authorities had been conducting investigations in 15 states of the country and some Gülen movement members were arrested in New Jersey within the scope of the probe.

"The FBI said they have begun to see the dark face of the organisation based on the evidence they had reached. Furthermore, there are some arrests in different states including New Jersey," Çavuşoğlu said. There is no immediate response to minister's statements by the United States. 

The U.S.-based cleric, Fethullah Gülen, has millions of followers in Turkey and abroad. Ankara has been hunting down members of the Gülen movement within the country and abroad since the failed coup. The Turkish government has revoked thousands of passports, having arrested, deported, or returned hundreds of Turkish citizens from around 16 countries.

Ankara has repeatedly called for the extradition of Gülen, who has been living in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania since 1999.

However, U.S. President Donald Trump said last month he was not considering to extradite the 77-year-old preacher while his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said last week Ankara would start new initiatives abroad to target the financing of the Gulen movement.

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