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Published On: Tue, Nov 7th, 2017

Turkey demands US to take immediate steps in extraditing Gülen

nsnbc : Just one day before he was due to arrive in Washington, Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildrim called on the United States to take immediate steps in extraditing the U.S.-based cleric Fetullah Gülen who is accused of orchestrating the 2016 failed military coup attempt.



Turkey’s AKP government accuses the 74-year-old, self-exiled imam of leading what the government called the Fetullah Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ) which allegedly involves Gülen as well as associated organizations including Hizmet and a global network of alleged Gülenist agents. Referring to the FETÖ, Jildirim told reporters:

“Everything for the extradition of the FETO leader has been done. … If this many files and documents aren’t enough, there must be something else involved in this issue. … So the judiciary in the U.S. should take immediate legal action and do what’s necessary.”

The Turkish Foreign Minister did not tell reporters how many files there were, what they contained, or whether journalists could inspect some of the files so experts in law could study the files the Turkish government claims to justify an extradition of Gülen. The U.S. administration has repeatedly stressed that Gülen could not be extradited provided there was sufficient evidence.

The Turkish government and authorities accuse Gülen of orchestrating the failed coup attempt in Turkey last year which killed 250 people and injured over 2,000 others.  Gülen, who has lived in Pennsylvania, U.S. for approximately 20 years, denies any such links. Gülen is, however, widely known for having solid links to U.S. and NATO intelligence cells and intelligence operatives on a near global scale.

Espionage_Surveillance_Gülen_Ergenekon_Turkey_ADRegarded as one of the most influential figures in recent Turkish politics, Gülen was once a key supporter of Erdogan in his rise to power in mid-2000. Their relation came to an abrupt end in 2013 after a corruption scandal involving Erdogan’s closest circles pitted the two men against one other.

The scandal also involved leaked recordings of tapped phone conversations between Tayyip Erdogan and his son Bilal. nsnbc had the tapes analyzed by a voice recognition expert who found them to be genuine. The tapes with conversations on how to hide money from police and with whom could possibly have been leaked by intelligence operatives within Gülen’s networks.

Fetullah Gülen_Quote_Apr 2014_AD_TurkeyErdogan, then the prime minister accused Gülen of initiating the corruption investigations that were systematically targeting his close allies, including his own family members. Soon thereafter the polemical premier opened court cases against the US-based Imam and his Cemaat, referring to them in the media as the “Fetullag Gülenist Terror Organization.”

Yildrim’s trip to Washington comes amid improving relations between the United States and Turkey. The two nations will resume limited visa services nearly a month after they stopped issuing visas to each other’s nationals after Turkey arrested a local employee of the US consulate in Istanbul.

CH/L – nsnbc 07.11.2017

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