Turkey hopes Donald Trump administration will extradite Gulen: Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım

January 21, 2017 9:00 am

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım (photo by AFP)

has voiced optimism regarding bilateral relations with the US under President , saying it primarily expects the new US administration to extradite Turkish opposition figure Fetullah Gulen.
The Pennsylvania-based oppositionist, who is Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ally-turned- bête noire, is accused of masterminding a failed coup attempt that sought to unseat the Turkish head of state in July last year.
“We hope steps will be taken primarily to extradite [Gulen], the architect of the cowardly coup attempt,” Turkish Prime Minister said on Friday, just hours before Trump’s inauguration.
Turkey has on several occasions threatened that it would revisit its ties with the US if Washington failed to hand over Gulen. He has denied accusations that he had a role in the coup attempt, and the US has so far refused to extradite him to Turkey, citing a lack of substantial evidence by Turkish authorities against him.
The coup attempt has been followed by a purge of perceived perpetrators and sympathizers, in almost all state and non-state institutions. Thousands have been jailed or suspended from their jobs in the crackdown.
Yildirim said bilateral ties with the US had recently suffered from a number of “mistakes,” apparently referring to the US administration’s refusal to extradite Gulen. He said, however, that, “We believe this situation will be removed in the new administration,” and hailed Turkey’s “well-rooted” relationship with Washington.
The Turkish prime minister said the US was also expected to “stop giving support to terror organizations in the name of fighting Daesh,” in an apparent reference to US support for Kurdish armed groups fighting Daesh.
The Kurdish groups, which Ankara collectively regards as terrorist organizations, have been receiving US support in northern Syria and Iraq. Turkey says the Kurdish groups have ties with the outlawed anti-Ankara Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been fighting a deadly war for an independent state in southeastern Turkey.
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