Egypt hasn’t received political asylum request from Turkey’s Gulen: PM

Egypt says it has not received any request for political asylum by Turkish Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused of masterminding a failed coup attempt on 15 July.

“Egypt has not received any requests by Turkish opposition figure Fethullah Gulen to obtain the right for political asylum in Egypt,” Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said.

He added in remarks carried by state news agency MENA Wednesday that no information about the matter has been made available until now.

Ismail said that if Gulen submitted any such request, Egyptian authorities would study it.

Earlier this week, an Egyptian MP demanded that the Egyptian government grant asylum to the Turkish opposition leader in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999.

The cleric, once an ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who became a leading opponent, condemned the abortive coup and said he played no role in it.  He said the putsch may have been orchestrated by Erdogan himself.

The attempted military takeover resulted in the deaths of over 230 people and has since prompted a wide-ranging purge of state institutions has targeted more than 60,000 persons, among which soldiers, police, judges and civil servants, with arrests and suspensions and has drawn fire from the European Union.

Relations between Turkey and Egypt have been strained since the 2013 ouster of Egypt’s Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, a close ally of Erdogan’s AKP (Justice and Development Party) government. Erdogan has repeatedly slammed Morsi’s removal as an “unacceptable coup.”

source: Ahram Online