Turkey sends address of Gülen property in Canada to US upon request
ANKARATurkey has sent Washington information regarding the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen’s property in Canada following a request from U.S. authorities, daily Yeni Şafak reported on Feb. 27.
The information sent to the U.S. includes the address of the property, when it was bought and who purchased it, the daily reported.
Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ recently said Gülen might be considering leaving the U.S. for Canada after purchasing land in the country.
The talks on Gülen’s extradition, believed to have masterminded the failed July 2016 coup, gained speed after Donald Trump was elected as U.S. president. According to the daily, because the new U.S. administration is leaning toward Gülen’s extradition more than the administration of former President Barack Obama, Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) members have bought property in Canada for Gülen.
There is no agreement between Turkey and Canada regarding the extradition of criminals, meaning that if Gülen moved to Canada from Pennsylvania, his extradition would become more difficult.
The Turkish Justice Ministry sent the files regarding Gülen’s possible escape to Canada to the U.S. on Feb. 24. The buyers of the property are Turkish citizens, but their identity remains hidden.
The extradition of Gülen remains a long-standing issue between Turkey and the U.S. Bozdağ said last week that the prolongation of Gülen’s extradition would harm relations between Washington and Ankara.
“There is strong intelligence pointing to the purchase of land in different countries, especially in Canada. We have intelligence that those activities accelerated after Trump was elected,” Bozdağ said in a televised interview with CNN Türk Feb. 23.
“We also conveyed that information to the U.S. Department of Justice,” Bozdağ said.
Bozdağ has already penned a letter to new U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is now making “a positive assessment of the issue,” according to the Turkish minister.