US official refutes WSJ report, says no decision made on Gülen extradition
Ali Kayalar – ISTANBUL
AP photoThe United States has not made any decision on whether to extradite Fethullah Gülen, the prime suspect behind the July 15 coup attempt according to Ankara, a U.S. official has told the Hürriyet Daily News, categorically denying a Wall Street Journal article published on Aug. 5 that claimed the opposite.
“We are giving our full attention to this matter and we are in full cooperation to assist the Turkish authorities in order that the Turkish authorities bring the guilty party to justice,” said the U.S. official on the phone.
The source said especially the first sentence of the WSJ article gave a “wrong impression” that the U.S. government had already decided it not would deport Gülen.
“U.S. officials don’t expect to extradite an imam Turkey blames for masterminding a failed coup because they aren’t convinced by the evidence Ankara has presented so far and are troubled by threatening public statements from Turkish officials, according to people familiar with the discussions,” read the first sentence of the article.
“This is not official the U.S. policy on this issue,” the source told the Daily News, adding that the person quoted by the U.S. newspaper was not speaking on behalf of the U.S. government.
“This report is problematic. We do not agree with it,” said the U.S. official.
“U.S. and Turkish officials have privately discussed scenarios under which Fethullah Gulen might be extradited, but American authorities have yet to be persuaded there is a valid case for extradition, these people said,” the WSJ said.
Turkey has already lodged two extradition demands with the U.S. for Gülen, who lives a self-claimed exile in Pennsylvania.