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Turkey offers $700,000 bounty for exiled Palestinian strongman Mohammad Dahlan Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Turkey offers $700,000 bounty for exiled Palestinian strongman Mohammad Dahlan

Dahlan is allegedly a close adviser to Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Zayed [Getty]

Date of publication: 22 November, 2019

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Former Palestinian strongman Mohammad Dahlan is accused of financing the 2016 coup attempt against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkey said on Friday it would offer four million lira ($700,000) for information leading to the capture of former Palestinian politician Mohammad Dahlan, now exiled in the United Arab Emirates.

Ankara issued an Interpol red notice for Dahlan, putting him on the country's most wanted list, pro-government media reported.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu also said on Friday that more than 200 people accused of links to the coup attempt would be stripped of their Turkish citizenship.

Dahlan, the former leader of Palestinian faction Fatah in the besieged Gaza strip, is accused of transferring funds to those behind the 15 July 2016 coup attempt as a mercenary for the UAE.

Ankara claims the coup attempt, which left 251 people dead, was carried out by supporters of exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Turkey deems members of a terrorist organisation.

Gulen and 229 others with alleged links to the US-based cleric will be stripped of their citizenship, the interior minister said on Friday according to Sol Haber.

Turkish media and officials have regularly accused Dahlan of involvement in the abortive coup and more recently of playing a role in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu last month accused the UAE of harbouring a terrorist.

"[Dahlan] fled to you because he is an agent of Israel," he told Al Jazeera.

Cavusoglu further charged the UAE, which has tense relations with Turkey, with trying to replace Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with former rival Dahlan.

Dahlan responded by accusing President Erdogan of supporting "terrorist groups" in Syria, stealing gold from the Libyan central bank and "acting as if he were commander of the faithful", in an interview with a Saudi broadcaster.

Earlier this month, pro-government columnist Ibrahim Karagul attacked Dahlan as the "ringleader" of a "terrorist" organisation whose "sole target is Turkey", also blaming the former Palestinian security chief for the death of Yasser Arafat.

Two Palestinian men arrested in Turkey earlier this year and accused of spying for the UAE and involvement in the murder of Khashoggi were also linked to Dahlan by the Turkish press.

Dahlan has also faced criminal proceedings in his homeland, being sentenced in absentia to three years in prison in 2016 for corruption.

He was also ordered to repay $16 million by the Palestinian court, according to his lawyers.

Agencies contributed to this report

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