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Turkish Cypriot police find burnt Gulen books in Famagusta landfill

Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen

Police in the north said on Tuesday they were carrying out investigations after they were informed by municipal workers who put out a fire at a landfill in the Famagusta area, that they had discovered around 100 burnt books written by exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, along with two computer hard drives.

No further information was available but the action indicates that there may be fears among Turkish Cypriots that the current witch hunt against Gulen supporters in Turkey could spread to the north.

Turkey vowed on Tuesday to root out allies of US-based Gulen who it blames for the abortive coup last week, widening a purge of the army, police and judiciary to the education sector, intelligence agency and religious authorities.

President Tayyip Erdogan and the government accuse Gulen of orchestrating the failed takeover on Friday and have called in speeches for his extradition from the United States.

Authorities have suspended or detained close to 35,000 soldiers, police, judges and civil servants since the coup bid. On Tuesday, they shut down media outlets deemed to be supportive of the cleric and said 15,000 people had been fired from the education ministry, 492 from the Religious Affairs Directorate, 257 from the prime minister’s office and 100 intelligence officials.

Gulen, 75, a former ally of Erdogan who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, has denied any involvement in the coup bid, and has suggested the president staged it as an excuse for a crackdown.

 

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