Turkish justice ministry demands US arrest Gülen over coup attempt
REUTERS photoThe Turkish Justice Ministry demanded Washington on Sept. 13 arrest U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen over the July 15 failed coup attempt, sending the first temporary arrest request to the country, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
Ankara accuses Gülen of giving the order for the failed coup attempt and commanding it, a charge he denies.
“This person is being sought on an arrest demand as the person who gave the order for the bloody coup attempt on July 15, 2016, in addition to many crimes committed in our country,” read the script sent to the U.S. Department of Justice.
It stated soldiers belonging to the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) within the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) attempted an armed military coup under the order and command of Gülen.
The arrest warrant issued by the Ankara 2nd Criminal Court of Peace as a part of the ongoing probe into the coup attempt was also attached to the script.
It also reminded that Gülen had faced up to 15 years in jail on charges of founding and managing an armed terror organization as well as a life sentence for other charges.
The script noted the arrest demand was within the scope of Article 10 of the treaty on extradition and mutual assistance in criminal matters signed between Turkey and the U.S. in 1979.
The ministry had previously sent four separate dossiers to the U.S. Department of Justice, which it said contained evidence of Gülen’s involvement in the coup attempt.
Ankara has repeatedly demanded Gülen’s extradition since the attempted takeover, with U.S. officials insisting that they can only extradite him if Turkey presents proof regarding his direct involvement in the coup attempt.
Last month, a delegation from the U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. State Department arrived in Ankara to work on the extradition case. Early in September, a delegation from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) also headed for Washington to discuss the extradition.
On Sept. 9, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ and U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass discussed the extradition of Gülen in a meeting requested by the latter.
In talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the sidelines of the recent G-20 Summit in China, U.S. President Barack Obama reportedly vowed that Washington would ensure that anyone in the U.S. proven to be involved in the coup attempt would be brought to justice.