Turkey clamps down on institutions connected to Fethullah Gulen

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Turkey clamps down on institutions connected to Fethullah Gulen

Investigators searched two universities in the Turkish capital as authorities continue a crackdown on premises connected to Fethullah Gulen.

Gulen is the exiled cleric that has been named by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the chief plotter in last week’s failed military coup.

Erdogan has ordered the closure of thousands of institutions, in his first decree since imposing a state of emergency.

The decree extends from four to 30 days the period in which suspects can be detained.

CCTV’s Natalie Carney reports from Istanbul on how the crisis in Turkey affects its relations with other countries.
Follow Natalie Carney on Twitter @NatalieCarney77

Turkey clamps down on institutions connected to Fethullah Gulen

Turkey clamps down on institutions connected to Fethullah Gulen

Investigators searched two universities in the Turkish capital as authorities continue a crackdown on premises connected to Fethullah Gulen. Gulen is the exiled cleric that has been named by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the chief plotter in last week's failed military coup. Erdogan has ordered the closure of thousands of institutions, in his first decree since imposing a state of emergency. CCTV's Natalie Carney reports from Istanbul on how the crisis in Turkey affects its relations with other countries.

Turkey was quick to point the finger after last week’s failed military coup.

The government believes Fethullah Gulen was its mastermind, a Muslim cleric living in the U.S. and because of this, Ankara also felt Washington had prior knowledge of what was about to unfold.

U.S. President Barack Obama adamantly rejects this.

While Gulen denies any involvement, Turkey has formally asked the U.S. to extradite the Muslim cleric, but Washington wants clear evidence of his involvement in the attempted coup.

Bilateral relations were already strained over U.S. support of a Syrian Kurdish militant group that Turkey considers a terrorist organization.

There is concern all this could have a negative impact on U.S. assets in the country.

Ankara’s pressure on Washington to extradite Gulen has fueled speculation that U.S. access to the Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey, a key launching position for the U.S. led coalition against ISIL in both Syria and Iraq, could be restricted.

Turkey’s counter coup purges of top institutions have raised concern of possible human rights abuses during the country’s three-month State of Emergency and of Turkey’s ability to meet its NATO commitments with a compromised army.

Turkish officials have reiterated that any measures taken to eradicate these threats will not harm freedoms and individual rights.

And Ankara knows that overstepping democratic principles during these exceptional times could pose another threat, this time to Turkey’s foreign relations.