Turkish lawmakers visit US, Europe to relate coup attempt, Gülen
WASHINGTONA group of Turkish lawmakers from both the ruling and opposition parties began an eight-day visit to the United States on Aug. 1 to deliver briefings regarding the failed coup last month, as two other groups visit London and Brussels as part of Turkey’s diplomatic bid to convince allies that U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen masterminded the attempt.
The U.S. team is scheduled to meet with senior officials, with Turkey’s request for Gülen’s extradition set to be high on the agenda.
The group visited the Turkish Embassy in Washington D.C. on its first day, during which they were briefed on the latest developments between the two countries. They also met Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, Leslie Caldwell.
A joint group from the Justice and State departments is currently analyzing the extradition request.
On Aug. 2, they were scheduled to meet Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and representatives of the Atlantic Council and Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tanks.
During the U.S. visit, the group will also make a trip to New York.
The visiting team consists of the head of the Turkish Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Justice and Development Party (AKP) Malatya lawmaker Taha Özhan, Kahramanmaraş lawmaker Mahir Ünal, Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul lawmaker Oguz Kaan Salıcı and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Erzurum lawmaker Kamil Aydın.
Another group from the Foreign Affairs Committee arrived in Brussels on Aug. 1.
AKP deputy Sena Nur Çelik said at an event at the Turkish Embassy in Brussels that the visit aimed at both informing political counterparts about the attempt and coming together with members of the Turkish community there.
MHP Deputy Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu said the attempt was the bloodiest one in Turkish history.
However, something good came out of it. The people, the parliament and politicians came together,” he said.
CHP deputy Özkan Yalım said Turkey would never let such structures emerge again.
The delegation to London, led by the AKP’s Talip Küçükcan, is scheduled to meet today with politicians, journalists and representatives from the National Security Council of the U.K., the Interior Ministry and the Turkish community there.
On Aug 4, the group will meet with Chatham House executives and the Security Committee of the U.K.