A Turkey court on Thursday issued an arrest warrant for United States-based preacher Fethullah Gülen, whom it believes was behind the failed military coup on July 15. Authorities have not made a formal extradition request for Gülen yet.

The cleric has denounced the warrant, and in a statement said, “…The Turkish court system is without judicial independence, so this warrant is yet another example of President (Tayyip) Erdogan's drive for authoritarianism and away from democracy.” He earlier denied having any links to the failed coup.

Turkish authorities have cracked down on military personnel, journalists, members of the judiciary and even students following the incident. President Erdogan also extended the legal detention period of a suspect from four days to 30 days. After the failed coup, Turkish authorities had suspended, detained or placed under investigation more than 60,000 soldiers, police, judges, teachers, civil servants and others.