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Monday, June 21, 1999 Published at 15:06 GMT 16:06 UK


World: Europe

Turkish investigation into Islamic sect expanded


A senior Turkish prosecutor says an investigation into the leader of the country's most influential religious sects is being extended after allegations in the media that he has been plotting to overthrow the state.

Over the last few days, Turkish television channels have been broadcasting recordings of alleged comments by Fethullah Gulen, leader of the Nur or Divine Rights sect, in which he urges his followers in the judiciary and public service to work patiently to take control of the state.

Mr Gulen has dismissed the allegations as a plot.

The Nur sect is enormously wealthy and runs schools and universities in Turkey, Central Asia and the Middle East. The BBC Ankara correspondent says many people regard Mr Gulen as a moderate figure but influential sections of Turkey's secular establishment are suspicious of a man who wields considerable power

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service



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