Turkey sends formal request for extradition of Gulen from US

Turkish prime minister tells parliament that four dossiers have been sent to the United States for the extradition of the exiled cleric and that more evidence would be sent if needed.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Fethullah Gülen speaks at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania on July 18, 2016.

Updated Aug 3, 2016

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim confirmed on Tuesday that an official request had been sent to the United States for the extradition of Fethullah Gulen.

The US-based cleric, who has been living in the United States since 1999, was named by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the orchestrator of Friday's coup attempt in the country.

Prime Minister Yildirim also criticised the US demand for provision of 'substantial evidence' on the involvement of the exiled cleric. 

The Turkish prime minister called on the United States to "give up protecting that traitor" during his speech.

He added that,"We have no hesitation about the origin (of the coup). It is crystal clear. However, we will provide them with a pile of evidence." 

Addressing the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party meeting at the parliament in Ankara, Yildirim said, “We have sent four dossiers to the United States for the extradition of the terrorist chief."

He further said, "We will present them with more evidence than they want.”

"This parliament has seen plenty of coups but none of the coups have dropped bombs on parliament," Yildirim said, referring to the previous attempts to seize power launched by the army since 1960 and the 1997 bloodless coup.

"None of the coups have directed guns at their people, none of the coups have bombed their people."

Hours after tens of thousands of people took to the streets in opposition to the attempted putsch against the democratically-elected government, President Erdogan on Saturday had called on Washington to extradite Gulen.

Speaking in Luxembourg on Saturday, US Secretary of State John Kerry had said that the United States had not yet received a formal extradition request for the exiled cleric.

US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at a briefing at the State Department in Washington November 18, 2015.

“We fully anticipate that there will be questions raised about Mr. Gulen. And obviously we would invite the government of Turkey, as we always do, to present us with any legitimate evidence that withstands scrutiny."

He added, "And the United States will accept that and look at it and make judgments about it appropriately.”

Later on Monday, Kerry said in Brussels that his country has "a formal process for dealing with extradition requests" and that Turkey "must send evidence, not allegations".

A deadly coup attempt was initiated late Friday when a rogue faction of the Turkish armed forces tried to overthrow the country's democratically elected government.

A Turkish Army tank drives on a street in Ankara, Turkey July 16, 2016.

Tanks were deployed on the streets in Istanbul and Ankara, with the military taking over the state broadcaster and announcing that the army had seized control of the country.

Low-flying military jets and helicopters also buzzed above the skies of the two cities.

At least 208 people, including members of the security forces and civilians, were martyred in Istanbul and Ankara and nearly 1,500 others wounded as they protested against the coup, according to figures provided by Prime Minister Yildirim.

Turkish PM added that 7,543 people have been detained over alleged links to the botched putsch.

Moreover, a total of 8,777 personnel, including 30 governors, 52 civil inspectors and 16 legal advisers, were also dismissed from their duties, the Turkish Interior Ministry said in a statement.

TRTWorld and agencies