Turkish PM calls on US to arrest Gülen immediately
AA photoPM Binali Yıldırım has called on the United States to arrest U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, who is accused of leading failed coup attempt of July 15.
“We want something that we have the right to from our strategic partner, the U.S. We are saying that there is a terrorist organization and it caused a lot of people to die. Please do what is necessary and temporarily arrest him. Don’t harbor him in your country,” he said in Ankara on Aug. 18.
It is “clear as daylight” that the coup was plotted by Gülenists, he told foreign chiefs of missions serving in Ankara.
“I’m sure that the U.S. will take the necessary steps. The U.S. cannot ignore the people’s stance that prevented a coup,” he added.
Gülen’s extradition request could be adjudicated under a 1979 treaty between the U.S. and Turkey, one of more than 100 the U.S. has signed with other countries, which would require the U.S. to arrest and detain Gulen for up to 60 days to give Turkey time to prepare a formal extradition request and to keep him in custody until a decision is handed down in his extradition case.
Meanwhile, Turkey on Aug. 19 detained dozens of academics suspected of ties with Gülen, while pressing ahead with raids on businesses linked to the Fetullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
Prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 84 academics nationwide, Doğan News Agency reported, while the state-run Anadolu Agency said Istanbul authorities were separately hunting for 62 academics working at Istanbul University.
Some 74 scholars have been detained so far in both operations, media said.
A large majority of the suspects in the nationwide raids were from Selçuk University in the Central Anatolian province of Konya, a conservative bastion of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), including the university’s former rector, Professor Hakkı Gökbel.
Elsewhere, a court in Ankara ordered the arrest of 19 employees of Turkey’s state-run broadcaster TRT on Aug. 18 as part of an investigation into FETÖ.
Police from Ankara’s organized crimes department detained a total of 43 TRT employees, including newscasters and inspectors, at the broadcaster’s headquarters on Aug. 11 as part of an investigation run by the Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The suspects were transferred to Ankara courthouse after procedures at the police headquarters.
In addition, a total of 18 personnel from the Prime Ministry were detained as part of the probe into FETÖ.