Biden, Turkish PM to discuss Syria, extradition of Gülen
ISTANBULU.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım will discuss issues regarding Syria and the possible extradition of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen during Biden’s visit to Turkey, Yıldırım has said.
“Our relations with the U.S. are medium sugar now. Biden is coming to Turkey to make the coffee sugary,” Yıldırım told foreign correspondents in Istanbul on Aug. 20, drawing an analogy between bilateral relations with the U.S. and Turkish coffee.
“The U.S. is our strategic ally. Every family experiences problems. There are ones who want to ruin our relationship. We need to stop Gülen from being a problem,” he added.
Biden is scheduled to visit Turkey on Aug. 24, which came after Turkish officials’ repeated their requests for the extradition of Gülen.
Noting that Turkey had sent 84 files before the failed July 15 takeover and four after it to the U.S. for the extradition of Gülen, Yıldırım said he should be arrested in light of the mutual deal between Washington and Ankara on the extradition of criminals.
“We say that nothing [bad] should happen to a person so involved in this [failed coup attempt],” he added.
The extradition request for Gülen could be adjudicated under a 1979 treaty between the U.S. and Turkey, one of more than 100 the U.S. has signed with other countries, which would require the U.S. to arrest and detain Gülen for up to 60 days to give Turkey time to prepare a formal extradition request and to keep him in custody until a decision is handed down in his extradition case.
Yıldırım also talked about a previous peace process, ruling out dialogue with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
“We have nothing to talk about with the killers. We will not enter into a dialogue with a terror organization,” Yıldırım said, adding that the PKK had failed to put the previous peace process to good use.
“No one can tell us that we didn’t give any chance to peace. We did, but they couldn’t use it. They lost their chance. They used that period of calm to strengthen themselves,” he added.
Yıldırım also said the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) should condemn the PKK.
“The HDP is an elected party. But they should say ‘we don’t recognize this despicable group,’” he added.
Meanwhile, Yıldırım said the PKK and FETÖ met in northern Iraq, where the leaders of the PKK are based, once before and once after the failed takeover attempt, believed to have been masterminded by the Gülenists, Fatih Çekirge from daily Hürriyet wrote in his column on Aug. 20.
“We’ve received intelligence, and evaluations are being made. It was determined that they’ve met. We found out that they met before and after the coup attempt,” Yıldırım said.