ISTANBUL – A Turkish minister says the “American system” has been infiltrated by a Muslim cleric blamed for last summer’s failed coup.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told journalists Friday that cleric Fethullah Gulen “has entered American missions here through the local staff,” referring to the arrest of a local staff member of the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul in October for alleged links to Gulen.
The minister also said Gulen infiltrated the U.S. judicial system by pointing to purported links in the controversial case of Turkish-Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab, charged by an ex-U.S. attorney for evading sanctions on Iran.
Cavusoglu said Preet Bharara was “very close” to Gulen and used the same indictment prosecutors filed against Zarrab in Turkey after corruption allegations shook the country in 2013.
Gulen denies involvement in the coup.