July 16, 2016 / 10:14 AM / 2 years ago

Turkish PM: Any country that stands by cleric Gulen will be at war with Turkey

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Any country that stands by the Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen will not be a friend of Turkey and will be considered at war with the NATO member, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Saturday.

Chief of Staff General Hulusi Akar, Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and Interior Minister Efkan Ala (LtoR) arrive for a news conference, following an overnight attempted Turkish military coup, in Ankara, Turkey July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer

The government said that followers of Gulen, who has been living in self-imposed exile in the United States for years, were behind the attempted coup by a faction of the military on Friday.

The government accuses Gulen of trying to build a “parallel structure” within the judiciary, education system, media and military as a way to overthrow the state, a charge the cleric denies.

Reporting by David Dolan; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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