Ankara on Monday said US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, blamed for last year’s failed coup, and dozens of others would lose Turkish citizenship if they did not return home within three months. A total of 130 people will be affected by the move, an interior ministry announcement published in the Official Gazette said, adding that the three-month deadline started on Monday.
The government says the abortive July coup aimed at toppling President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was engineered by an Islamic movement led by Gulen, who has denied the charges. The list also includes two lawmakers from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) Faysal Sariyildiz and Tugba Hezer. The interior ministry said the list comprised people who are being investigated by the prosecutors and whose whereabouts are not known.
Over 100,000 people have been sacked or suspended from the public sector under a state of emergency imposed a few days after foiled putsch and renewed three times. Human rights group criticise the vast crackdown, saying they have extended well beyond the coup suspects and targeted opponents of Erdogan.