Turkish justice minister talks Gülen extradition with US counterpart in Washington
WASHINGTON - Anadolu AgencyTurkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ on May 8 met with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in Washington, reiterating Ankara’s request for the extradition of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, who is accused of masterminding the July 2016 failed coup attempt.
During the 45-minute meeting, Bozdağ asked Sessions to submit in court the evidence Ankara handed over to U.S. authorities in support of the extradition, and place Gülen under provisional arrest, according to Turkish Justice Ministry sources.
The sources described the meeting as being conducted in a positive environment ahead of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to the country next week.
The president will hold his first face-to-face meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump on May 16 since the latter took office in January.
Turkey has long demanded the extradition of Gülen from the U.S. but has not yet received a positive response. The evidence provided by Turkey to the U.S. Justice Department have reportedly not yet been transferred to the federal court that needs to examine Ankara’s request, unsettling the Turkish government.
On July 19, 2016, Ankara had sent four dossiers on Gülen’s extradition at Washington’s request and demanded his temporary arrest in September 2016.
A U.S. delegation from the Justice Department came to Ankara at the end of August 2016 to discuss the issue and Bozdağ met with his former counterpart Loretta Lynch in Washington in October 2016.
In February, the minister had sent a letter to Sessions regarding Gülen’s extradition and the two also held a phone conversation on March 22.