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Turkey Reportedly Suspects Constantinople Patriarch of Ties to Gulen, CIA

© REUTERS / Charles MostollerUS based cleric Fethullah Gulen at his home in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, US July 29, 2016
US based cleric Fethullah Gulen at his home in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, US July 29, 2016 - Sputnik International
ATHENS (Sputnik) - The Turkish security services suspect Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew of having ties with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused by Ankara of masterminding the 2016 failed coup attempt, media reported Friday.

According to the Greek Epikaira magazine, Turkish media launched an information campaign claiming that the Patriarch was allegedly informed about the prepared coup ahead of its beginning, which allowed him to leave the country just three hours before the escalation.

READ MORE: Flynn's Lawyer Denies 'Outrageous Allegations' of Turkish Bribe for Gulen

The media outlet pointed out that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suspected the Patriarch of Constantinople of friendship with Gulen, and that officers from the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) were spying on the Patriarch.

A policeman stands atop of a military armored vehicle after troops involved in the coup surrendered on the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey July 16, 2016. - Sputnik International
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The magazine added that the secret services of the United States and of one more country had warned the Patriarch of Constantinople about threats to his life.

On July 15, 2016, a military coup attempt took place in Turkey. It was suppressed the following day, but left over 240 people dead and an estimated 2,000 wounded. After Turkey faced the attempted military takeover a year ago, Ankara accused Gulen, who has been living in the United States since 1999, and his followers of playing a key role in the coup attempt. The cleric has refuted the allegations.

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