Turkish justice minister says second document sent to US demanding Gülen extradition
REUTERS photoA second document has been sent to the United States demanding the urgent arrest of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who was blamed for the failed coup attempt of July 15, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said on Aug. 2.
“We answered their questions about ‘why it is urgent [to arrest Gülen]’ with our first document. We wrote, ‘There are serious claims and statements that Fethullah Gülen had a hand in the coup attempt. Therefore he needs to be arrested immediately and we have intelligence that he could flee to a third country,’ and we sent it,” Bozdağ told reporters in parliament.
The justice minister also stressed that Ankara would demand Gülen’s extradition in the upcoming discussions with Washington, expressing his anticipation over the issue.
“The correct thing to do is to extradite Gülen to Turkey,” Bozdağ said, while also pointing to the necessity of a fair trial.
Bozdağ also warned that the relationship between Washington and Ankara would be negatively affected if Gülen as not extradited.
He said Gülen could not go abroad without U.S. permission and approval.
“If he flees, that means the U.S. has turned a blind eye or given permission, because his residence in Pennsylvania is closely followed by U.S. security and intelligence units currently and it is under control. There is no possibility that he could go abroad without U.S. permission or approval apart from that control,” Bozdağ said.
Ankara had initially sent four dossiers to Washington on July 19 demanding Gülen’s extradition.