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US unlikely to extradite imam Turkey blames for coup: WSJ

Turkish cleric and opponent to the Erdogan regime, Fethullah Gulen, at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania on July 18, 2016.
Thomas Urbain | AFP | Getty Images
Turkish cleric and opponent to the Erdogan regime, Fethullah Gulen, at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania on July 18, 2016.

U.S. officials weren't likely to extradite Fethullah Gulen, an imam Turkey blames for plotting the recent failed coup, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the discussion.

Those people said the evidence presented so far by Turkey wasn't convincing and U.S. officials were also concerned about Turkish officials' threatening public statements, which made the fairness of his potential treatment questionable, the report said.

Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania, has denied wrongdoing, the report said.

Read the full Journal report here

Separately, Reuters reported that Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan pledged on Thursday to cut off revenues from businesses tied to the 75-year-old Gulen, which include schools, firms and charities.

Even before the failed coup, authorities in Turkey had seized Islamic lender Bank Asya, closed media businesses and arrested businessmen on accusations of funding the imam's movement, Reuters reported.

The failed coup, which took place on July 15, left more than 230 dead. Since then, more than 60,000 people across various branches of government have been detained, suspended or put under investigation, Reuters reported. That's spurred concerns Erdogan was cracking down on all dissent.

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