Turkey Issues Arrest Warrant for US-Based Cleric | NBC Southern California
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Turkey Issues Arrest Warrant for US-Based Cleric

The state-run Anadolu news agency said an Istanbul-based court issued the warrant for "ordering the July 15 coup attempt"

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    AP Photo/Selahattin Sevi, File
    Fethullah Gulen moved to the United States in 1999 to escape treason charges; Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan alleged on Saturday, July 16, 2016, that Gulen orchestrated an attempted coup from Pennsylvania.

    A court in Turkey issued a formal warrant Thursday for the arrest of U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who the government accuses of being behind the failed July 15 coup that left more than 270 people dead.

    The state-run Anadolu news agency said an Istanbul-based court issued the warrant for "ordering the July 15 coup attempt."

    The government says Gulen, a former ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, masterminded the failed coup attempt by renegade officers in Turkey's military and wants him extradited to Turkey.

    Gulen has denied involvement or prior knowledge of the coup attempt.

    Wal-Mart Rejects 'Blue Lives Matter' Cake

    [NATL-DFW] Wal-Mart Rejects 'Blue Lives Matter' Cake
    A McDonough, Georgia, Walmart is facing a backlash after an employee refused to make a "Blue Lives Matter" cake for a retiring police officer, and the story is going viral. The officer's daughter says it was a cake for the officer's retirement party after serving for 25 years. After a friend posted about the incident on Facebook, a manager called her to apologize and make the cake. Walmart's corporate communications department also issued an apology. (Published Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016)

    Ankara has not yet made a formal extradition request, but the arrest warrant could be the prelude. Washington has asked for evidence of the cleric's involvement, and has said the extradition process must be allowed to take its course.

    Anadolu said the court issued the warrant over a number of accusations, including an "attempt to eliminate the government of the Turkish Republic or to prevent it from carrying out its duties."

    More specifically, Anadolu said the court based the arrest warrant on accusations the coup plotters tried to assassinate Erdogan, kidnapped Chief of Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and other military officers, bombed parliament and killed police and civilians who resisted.

    "It has been understood without a doubt that the attempted coup was an activity of the terror organization and that it was carried out with the orders of its founder, suspect Fethullah Gulen," Anadolu quoted from the court decision.

    Man Braves Iowa Flood Waters to Save Deer

    [NATL-DFW] Man Braves Iowa Flood Waters to Save Deer
    An Iowa man risks his own life to save a deer from Cedar River floodwaters. (Published Monday, Sept. 26, 2016)

    It is not the first time an arrest warrant has been issued for Gulen, who broke ranks publicly with Erdogan in 2013. In December 2014, a court issued a warrant for him on accusations of running an armed group.

    Turkey has designated Gulen's movement, which runs charities, schools and businesses across the world, as a terrorist organization and has launched a widespread crackdown on suspected members since the failed coup.

    Since the coup attempt, nearly 70,000 people have been suspended or dismissed from jobs in the civil service, judiciary, education, health care, the military and the media. And about 18,000 people have been detained or arrested, mostly from the military, on suspicion of being involved in the failed putsch.

    Earlier Thursday, Erdogan vowed to go after businesses linked to Gulen's movement.

    What Visitors Can Expect at African American History Museum

    [NATL-DC] What Visitors Can Expect at African American History Museum
    Dr. Greg Carr, associate professor and chair of the department of Afro-American Studies at Howard University, discusses the the significance of the museum and what can people expect when they walk in. (Published Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016)

    "Without doubt, this organization has an extension in the business world. Maybe it is what they are most powerful at," he said during a speech to the heads of chambers of commerce in Ankara. "We are determined to totally cut off all business links of this organization, which has blood on its hands."

    The president said that every cent that goes to the Gulen movement "is a bullet placed in a barrel to be fired against this nation. In the same way that we do not pardon those who fire the bullet, we will not forgive those who financed the bullet."

    Erdogan added that the purge of the military would continue.

    "After July 15, this sneaky organization's structure in the Turkish Armed Forces has started to be uncovered," he said. "For now, those who are captured are the tip of the iceberg. Efforts are continuing for others."

    Separately, the deputy chairman of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party, Mehdi Eker, said countries around the world need to take action against schools or other establishments linked to Gulen.

    Eker said the cleric's movement had hundreds of schools, charities or other establishments in more than 100 countries and warned they too could face "security risks" from the group in the future.

    "If we had seen that these schools were not innocent educational nests but nurseries raising members for a terror organization, we would not have lived through the (attempted coup)," he told journalists in Ankara.

    "It is our responsibility to warn countries that have (Gulen-linked) schools," Eker said. "In Africa, we know that they work as nurseries (for terror) and we want to warn them."

    How to Protect Yourself From Hackers

    [NATL] How to Protect Yourself From Hackers
    Thursday's news that Yahoo suffered a hack of 500 million of its user accounts may have many people taking a new look at how to keep their own email accounts and personal information secure. One easy way to protect yourself from hackers is by regularly updating your software. "Hackers are always finding new vulnerabilities to exploit," said Consumer Reports Editor Jerry Beilinson. (Published Friday, Sept. 23, 2016)