Report: Turkey sends 2nd document to U.S. seeking cleric's arrest

Last Updated Aug 2, 2016 11:33 AM EDT

ANKARA -- Turkey's justice minister has sent a document to the United States seeking the arrest of cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania and whom Ankara accuses of instigating an attempted coup on July 15.

The state-run Anadolu news agency said Tuesday that Bekir Bozdag had sent a "second written document" requesting Gulen's arrest. It gave no details of contents. Ankara has demanded Gulen's extradition over the failed coup, which left 271 people dead. Washington has asked for evidence of the cleric's involvement, saying the extradition process must take its course.

The Turkish government launched a sweeping crackdown on Gulen's movement, which runs schools, charities and businesses internationally. In Turkey, nearly 70,000 people have been suspended from their jobs on suspicion of being involved in the movement.

Gulen denies any knowledge of the attempt to overthrow the government.

Meanwhile on Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan once more blasted unnamed Western countries Tuesday for what he said was support for the attempted coup.

"The West is supporting terrorism and taking sides with coups," Erdogan said, adding that forces unhappy with Turkey's rise as a regional power were behind the coup.

"They have actors inside (Turkey) but the scenario of this coup was written abroad," he said during a speech at an event for foreign investors in Ankara.

Erdogan singled out Germany for criticism, after a court there ruled against allowing him to appear on a video link to address a crowd of about 30,000 supporters and anti-coup demonstrators in Cologne over the weekend.

The president said Turkey had sent Germany more than 4,000 files on what he said were wanted terrorists, but Germany did nothing. However, he said, courts quickly decided against him speaking at the rally.

Erdogan repeated a complaint that no foreign leader had visited Turkey after the failed coup, while France and Belgium received visits in solidarity after terror attacks there.

"Those we considered friends are siding with coup-plotters and terrorists," the president said.