POLITICS

Fethullah Gulen, Cleric Wanted By Turkey, May Be Planning Escape To Canada: Turkish Deputy PM

02/27/2017 11:57 EST | Updated 02/27/2017 12:07 EST

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey's deputy prime minister says his country has "serious" intelligence suggesting that a U.S.-based cleric wanted by Turkey may be planning to escape to Canada.

Numan Kurtulmus told reporters Monday that intelligence gathered by Turkey indicated that followers of Fethullah Gulen had purchased "land and farms" in Canada.

He said the Turkish government has shared this information with the U.S. Department of Justice.

fethullah gulen

U.S. based cleric Fethullah Gulen at his home in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, July 29, 2016. (Photo: Charles Mostoller/Reuters)

Turkey accuses Gulen of orchestrating a failed coup attempt in July and wants him extradited so that he may be put on trial.

Turkey also requested that the cleric be taken into custody while the U.S. authorities review his case, to prevent him from leaving for another country.

Kurtulmus said Turkey hopes that the United States considers the issue seriously.

Gulen denies orchestrating the coup.

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