US to discuss Gulen extradition in Turkey next week

Both sides have exchanged letters to find way forward on the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, blamed by Turkey for orchestrating the July 15 putsch.

Photo by: AA (Archive)
Photo by: AA (Archive)

US-based preacher and the leader of Fethullah Terror Organisation (FETO) Fethullah Gulen.

The US Justice Department will send a delegation to Turkey next week to discuss extradition of US-based preacher and the leader of Fethullah Terror Organisation (FETO) Fethullah Gulen, state media Anadolu Agency said quoting a source in Turkey’s Justice Ministry.

Both sides have exchanged letters to discuss a way forward on the issue of Gulen's extradition.

Turkish government has blamed Gulen for the July 15 failed coup attempt which left 239 people dead and nearly 2,200 injured.

The source further said the US Justice Department had first written to Turkey’s Justice Ministry, suggesting that both sides should exchange delegations to discuss the extradition issue.

Turkey replied positively to the letter, suggesting the US side should first send its delegation to Turkey.

The US Justice Department agreed to the proposal and will be sending a delegation to Turkey next week.

Following the defeated coup which aimed to overthrow Turkey's democratically-elected government, Turkey sent two official requests to the US to extradite Gulen so that he can be put on trial.

Turkey’s Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag last week said a second request to arrest Gulen had been sent to the United States.

He told reporters that Turkey had made the first demand for Gulen’s extradition on July 19.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag. Image: Anadolu Agency

He said the second request stated, “There are serious claims and expressions that Gulen has a hand in the coup attempt. That is why he needs to be immediately arrested. We have intelligence that he could flee to a third country.”

The US was still reviewing the documents request.

The US State Department, without going into the details of the process, said it was still evaluating the evidence presented by Turkey.

“It is not an overnight process”, the State Department spokesman said despite the fact that the US had received the first documents from Turkey more than 20 days ago.

Ankara has accused Gulen for leading the putsch through his followers within the Turkish military who are also members of the FETO.

Gulen is also accused of a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through infiltrations into Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary, forming what is commonly known as the parallel state.

TRTWorld, AA