At a glance: Turkey's military coup

Fethullah Gulen (Reuters)
Fethullah Gulen (Reuters)

Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused popular cleric Fethullah Gulen of orchestrating a failed coup attempt - but Mr Gulen says he had no knowledge of the plot.

Mr Gulen said he knows only a "minute fraction" of his supporters in Turkey, so he cannot speak about their "potential involvement" in the attempted coup against President Erdogan.

Mr Gulen, a reclusive cleric who very rarely speaks to reporters, talked about the failed overthrow attempt shortly after Erdogan demanded that the United States extradite him.

Mr Gulen said he wouldn't have returned to Turkey even if the coup had succeeded, fearing he would be "persecuted and harassed."

"This is a tranquil and clean place and I enjoy and I live my freedom here. Longing for my homeland burns in my heart, but freedom is also equally important," he said, speaking at his home on the grounds of the Golden Generation Worship Retreat Centre, an Islamic retreat founded by Turkish-Americans.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said the Obama administration would entertain an extradition request but Turkey would have to prove wrongdoing by Mr Gulen.

Newshub. / Reuters