Gülen ‘should not be allowed to exploit laws’ in extradition case
WASHINGTON - Anadolu Agency
AP photoThe United States should not allow Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who is believed to have orchestrated the July 15 failed coup attempt, to exploit its laws in the case regarding his extradition to Turkey, a spokesperson for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said in an opinion piece published in The New York Times.
Gülen should not be permitted to “exploit its [U.S.] laws to avoid facing a fair and legitimate accounting in Turkey,” İbrahim Kalın laid out in an article on July 24.
Kalın wrote there was mounting evidence pointing to Gülen’s role as leader of the attempt, noting that the coup “was planned and staged by his followers within the army.”
Several generals and officers involved have confessed to having links to Gülen.
Levent Türkkan, aide-de-camp to the chief of staff for the Turkish armed forces, Gen. Hulusi Akar, admitted that he was a member of the Gülenist organization and joined the coup on orders from his superiors within the group, according to Kalın.
Akar reportedly told prosecutors the coup plotters urged him to speak to Gülen, who lives in the state of Pennsylvania, to persuade him to join the overthrow attempt.
“The United States should extradite Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish citizen, to Turkey, as is allowed under an existing treaty,” Kalın said. “Turkey has already provided a number of legal documents to American authorities and will send more as further evidence is collected.”
The spokesperson added that condemnations of the coup attempt would only be meaningful if solid action was taken against its perpetrators.
“It does not make sense for any country to condemn the coup without taking action against the lead putschist,” he said.
The U.S. made an offer to Turkey to form a working group composed of officials from its foreign affairs and justice departments to assist Ankara in preparing its formal request for Gülen’s extradition.
U.S. officials also announced last week receiving extradition documents for Gülen, following the coup attempt that killed more than 240 people and wounded more than 2,000 others.
The U.S. Justice Department was reviewing the papers, according to the White House.