US says it is evaluating new Turkish documents on Gülen
WASHINGTON - ReutersThe United States is evaluating new documents sent by Turkey to push for the extradition of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, the alleged mastermind of the country's recent failed coup attempt, a State Department spokesman said on Aug. 4.
"The Turkish authorities (made) several deliveries of documents to us and we're in the process of going through those documents," spokesman Mark Toner told a daily news briefing.
Toner said the first batch "did not, we believe, constitute a formal extradition request."
He added: "We subsequently received more documents. We're looking through them ... and I don't think they've reached that determination yet."
The U.S. Justice Department is the main agency poring over the documents to see whether they amount to a formal extradition request for Gülen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999.
Turkish officials, including Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, have warned that ties with the United States will be affected if it fails to extradite Gülen.
The NATO member plays an important role in the U.S-led fight against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). But Washington has said Ankara must provide clear evidence of Gülen's involvement in the failed military coup attempt before any extradition process can move forward.
Gülen has denied plotting against Turkey and has condemned the coup attempt.
Toner said the United States had offered to help Turkey with investigating the coup attempt. He did not say whether Turkey had responded to the offer.