Turkey poised to rescind Fethullah Gülen’s citizenship

(Updates with Süleyman Soylu's comments on Interpol notices, paragraph five)

Turkey is in the last stages of rescinding the citizenship of Fethullah Gülen, a U.S. based Turkish preacher who heads a religious network that the Turkish government accuses of carrying out a coup attempt in 2016, Hürriyet newspaper reported on Friday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will soon sign the documents revoking the citizenships of 211 people, including Gülen, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu told Hürriyet.

Turkey has demanded the United States extradite Gülen, but U.S. officials say Ankara has not provided enough evidence.

“Even if we expatriate him, we can demand his extradition and bring him to court,” Soylu said. “His citizenship is being revoked as we are not happy with such a terrorist being our citizen.”  

International police organisation Interpol has rejected all of Turkey's appeals for red notices on 464 wanted persons facing charges for membership to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organisation (FETÖ), the name Turkey uses for followers of Gülen, Soylu added, citing the reason as the Interpol recognising the attempt to be "a military coup and not a military terror coup."

Thousands of civil servants, legal professionals, teachers and academics have been purged or arrested over links to the Gülen group since the failed putsch. Gülen denies any involvement in the coup attempt, in which more than 250 people were killed.