In this Sept. 24, 2013 file photo, Turkish Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen is pictured at
his residence in Saylorsburg, Pa. (AP)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday demanded that the United States arrest or extradite Fethullah Gulen, a cleric and former ally he blames for the failed coup attempt the night before.

“This country suffered a lot in the hands of the Gulen movement,” Erdogan told supporters in Istanbul.

“The United States – you must extradite that person,” he said, referring to Gulen.

Islamic preacher Gulen, who lives in exile in Pennsylvania, has denied any connection to the coup attempt and said he condemned it.

“As someone who suffered under multiple military coups during the past five decades, it is especially insulting to be accused of having any link to such an attempt. I categorically deny such accusations,” Gulen said in a brief statement just before midnight Friday.

“I condemn, in the strongest terms, the attempted military coup in Turkey,” read the two-paragraph statement.

“Government should be won through a process of free and fair elections, not force.
“I pray to God for Turkey, for Turkish citizens, and for all those currently in Turkey that this situation is resolved peacefully and quickly.”

Gulen moved to the United States in 1999, before he was charged with treason in his native country.

Details later…

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