Turkey cancels alleged coup leader's pension

Türkiye Materials 20 July 2016 15:16 (UTC +04:00)

Turkey on Wednesday cancelled the pension benefits of Fetullah Gulen, the U.S.-based head of the group accused of plotting last week’s attempted coup, the Social Security Institution said, Anadolu Agency reported.

Gulen, 75, has lived in Pennsylvania since 1999 and is said to be the head of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization behind Friday’s attempt to overthrow the government.

As a former preacher who worked for the state-run Religious Affairs Directorate between 1965 and 1981, he was previously entitled to pension payments and other benefits.

An official with the Social Security Institution, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media, told Anadolu Agency that his rights had been annulled and that the pension rights of others involved in the coup plot would also be abolished.

The failed putsch resulted in the deaths of at least 240 people.

Gulen has been accused of running a long-standing campaign to overthrow the Turkish government through supporters within state institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.