Turkey cancels U.S.-based cleric's passport
Friday, March 28, 2014
ANKARA - Turkish authorities canceled the passport that Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen used to travel to the United States (U.S.) in 1999, officials said Friday.
The governor's office of the southeastern province of Erzurum -- Gulen's hometown -- nullified his green passport due to the inaccuracy of some information he provided to obtain it in 1990.
It is not immediately clear whether the cancellation would complicate Gulen's current temporary residence in the U.S. and lead to his extradition.
Gulen has been in the U.S. since leaving Turkey in 1999 for medical reasons. Shortly after his departure, Turkish prosecutors opened a case against him for incitement to attacking the secular state. He was acquitted in 2008.
The current Turkish government accuses a group of Gulen's followers of forming an illegal foreign-linked "state within the state," mainly within the police and the judiciary, which eavesdropped on thousands of people and sought to target the government.
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