Turkey waiting for US to extradite Gülen: Justice minister
Turkey is waiting for the extradition of U.S.-based Fethullah Gülen, widely believed to have masterminded last year’s failed coup attempt, Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül said on Oct. 22, stressing that all procedures had been completed and Ankara was waiting for the extradition process to be launched.
Speaking to reporters in Ankara, Gül said there were no missing documents or procedures left to hinder Gülen’s extradition.
“For both parties, all conditions for an extradition have been fulfilled. There are no documents and procedures left that would be an obstacle for the extradition,” Gül said.
“We are now waiting for the extradition,” he added.
Five extradition files have been sent to U.S. authorities so far and are expected to be sent to court, he said, noting that the trial on the “assassination against the president” was concluded and that there would be a new request for the case.
Asked if Gülen will be expatriated, the minister said the procedure could be practiced upon the request of the Interior Ministry and the decision of the cabinet, but denaturalization will not affect the trial and extradition of Gülen.
According to the Turkish government, the Gülen network, led by Fethullah Gülen, orchestrated the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, which left 250 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara also accuses the Gülen network of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
But the U.S. has so far declined to hand over Gülen, stating that Turkey has not provided sufficient evidence.
Meanwhile, Gül criticized a diplomatic note the U.S. sent to Turkey, in which it demanded the mobile and SIM card of its arrested consulate employee Metin Topuz to be given back, which the U.S. said was within its immunity.
The Justice Ministry has sent the U.S. diplomatic note to a prosecutor’s office.
Gül noted that if the U.S. was asking for the phone to be given back because it was used for the business of the U.S. administration, “then they might as well ask for the return of Topuz, even though he is a Turkish citizen, because he was used for the U.S.’s business.”