CHP: Gülen behind coup, US should extradite him
Deniz Zeyrek – ANKARA
HÜRRİYET photoThe United States should extradite U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen to Turkey given the evidence suggesting he was behind the July 15 coup attempt, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said, lending support to the government on an issue that has strained ties between the two NATO allies.
Kılıçdaroğlu said Washington should extradite Gülen, as called for by its laws.
“There are issues of the extradition documents being sent [to the U.S.] late and in their thousands. Sorting them out would take a year. I have not understood why they sent so many documents. If the U.S. does not hand [him] over, Fethullah Gülen should himself come back to Turkey. You are saying ‘I am innocent.’ Then come to Turkey and go under prosecution. We are giving support to the government on this issue. The U.S. should also comply with international treaties. The data shows that Fethullah Gülen is the main actor. Then [they] should extradite him to Turkey. Failing to do so would create friction,” said the CHP leader.
Kılıçdaroğlu also touched upon the government initiative to conduct a major overhaul on various state institutions after it defeated a coup attempt by the soldiers and which was also supported by a number of public servants after their decades-old Gülen-sponsored infiltration of key posts.
The CHP leader said they would not want to destroy the current environment of political solidarity in the face of coup, and therefore would wait before criticizing the government as it attempts to fulfill promises to solve problems that emerged due to the decree laws implemented during the post-coup state of emergency. Kılıçdaroğlu, however, added that if the promises were not fulfilled, they would not hesitate to appeal to the Constitutional Court.
“We do not find it very right that the parliament is being closed during the state of emergency. We are against the decree laws being used for arrangements that stipulates the state’s reconstruction and the overhaul of institutions.
This would mean sidelining parliament by regarding this coup attempt as an opportunity. The state’s construction is not the duty of the governing body but the legislative body. This state does not belong to a party but to all of us. Therefore, it is a fact that all political parties have a voice in its construction,” said Kılıçdaroğlu, adding that the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which secured 6 million votes to enter parliament, should not be ostracized, as doing do would mean pushing it out of its legitimate ground.
Kılıçdaroğlu also said the notorious Dec. 17-25, 2013, operations targeting the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government had revealed “with its all documents, footages and voice records about how the state was robbed” and that trying to blame it all on Gülenists would be a huge mistake.