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Gulen denies directing coup, calls Erdogan 'oppressor'

In a rare interview, accused Turkey coup mastermind Fethullah Gulen dismissed the charges and said of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, "I want to spit in his face."
U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen at his home in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 10, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller - RTX3B23S
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As the first anniversary of the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey draws near, one of the main characters in the bloody events that unfolded that night has reached out to the Western media to air his side of the mysterious affair.

Fethullah Gulen, the secretive Sunni cleric who is accused by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of masterminding the coup, spoke to NPR’s Robert Siegel on July 10 at his sprawling yet Spartan compound in the Pocono Mountains in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.

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