July 28, 2016 / 9:45 AM / a year ago

Turkey has intelligence cleric Gulen could flee United States: justice minister

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey is receiving intelligence that the Muslim cleric it blames for orchestrating a coup attempt this month could flee his residence in the United States, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Thursday.

U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose followers Turkey blames for a failed coup, is shown in still image taken from video, as he speaks to journalists at his home in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Greg Savoy/Reuters TV/File Photo

Bozdag told broadcaster Haberturk TV that the cleric, Fethullah Gulen, could flee to Australia, Mexico, Canada, South Africa or Egypt. Turkey says Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States for years, is the mastermind behind the failed July 15-16 putsch that attempted to overthrow the government.

Gulen denies the charge.

Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Can Sezer; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Michael Georgy

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