Turkey, US top law officials talk Gülen extradition

Turkey, US top law officials talk Gülen extradition

WASHINGTON - Anadolu Agency
Turkey, US top law officials talk Gülen extradition

AA Photo

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said on Oct. 26 that he had “a productive conversation” with his American counterpart, Loretta Lynch, regarding the extradition of the leader of the Gülenist organization, Fethullah Gülen.  
“We discussed Turkey’s requests about extradition as well as his temporary detention,” Bozdağ said at a news conference with members of the Turkish press in Washington.      
Ankara has accused Gülen of plotting a failed coup attempt in Turkey in July.

Bozdağ said he also expressed to Lynch that it was not acceptable for American authorities to drag their feet on the extradition request. 

“For the first time, a Turkish justice minister is visiting a country for the extradition of a criminal residing in that country,” Bozdağ said, noting the importance of the case to the Turkish government. 

Bozdağ said American leaders understood Turkey’s concerns, noting that experts of the two countries would work together on the case. 

Turkey does not want the U.S. to hand over Gülen by bypassing the court system, Bozdağ said. Turkey wants American courts to process the evidence Ankara has provided against the organization’s leader.    
“We have submitted sufficient, even more than sufficient, evidence to have him [Gülen] detained,” he said.        
Bozdağ also shared Turkey’s concerns that Gülen might flee the U.S., adding that Ankara has intelligence that the leader is searching for asylum in a number of countries, including Belgium, Canada and Brazil. 

The minister presented a document to his counterpart that depicts the text of an agreement signed between the Ottoman Empire and the U.S. in 1874 regarding the extradition of criminals. 

Turkey’s documents includes evidence that Gülen’s network established a quasi-state within the Turkish state in an attempt to topple the government and ultimately tried to take over the state via a bloody coup.

Turkish authorities also issued an official request for Gülen’s extradition under a 1979 treaty between Turkey and the U.S.