A US-based Turkish cleric accused of plotting a coup to overthrow the Ankara government has claimed President Recep Erdogan staged the rebellion himself to justify a major clampdown on opposition forces.
Fethullah Gulen, who was a former key ally of Erdogan has been blamed by the politician of using his contacts to develop a 'parallel structure' to overthrow the state.
Erdogan has called on US President Barack Obama to extradite Gulen, who is based in Pennsylvania.
In response to the attempted rebellion, Turkish authorities have detained 2,745 judges and prosecutors whose loyalty to the regime has been questioned.
Also, some 2,839 soldiers - including the head of the Third Army Corps in Istanbul, General Erdal Ozturk - have been arrested.
PM Binali Yildrim described the plot, which claimed the lives of 161 civilians with 1,440 wounded, as a 'black stain on Turkish democracy'. READ MORE