Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan denounced the charges as a smear campaign ahead of municipality elections, hinting at the movement of U.S-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose followers are influential in Turkey’s police and judiciary, Reuters reports.

“As we fight to make Turkey in the top 10 countries of the world … some are engaged in an effort to halt our fast growth. There are those abroad … and there are extensions of them within our country,” Erdogan said.

iShares MSCI Turkey ETF

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Max Chen contributed to this article.