Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul says all procedures for US extradition of Fethullah Gulen complete

October 22, 2017 7:32 pm

Turkish Justice Minister (C) speaks to reporters in Ankara, , on October 22, 2017. (Photo by Anadolu agency)

Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul says his country expects US officials to extradite Pennsylvania-based opposition cleric, , whom the Ankara government accuses of having masterminded the failed July 2016 coup, stressing that all procedures have been completed in this regard.
Gul told reporters in the capital city of Ankara on Sunday that there were no missing documents or procedures left to hinder Gulen’s extradition.
“For both parties, all conditions for an extradition have been fulfilled. We are now waiting for the extradition,” he stated.
The Turkish justice minister further noted that Gulen’s Turkish citizenship would be revoked, “through a demand from the Interior Ministry and by decision of the cabinet.”
During the July 15 botched putsch last year, a faction of the Turkish military declared that it had seized control of the country and the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was no more in charge. The attempt was, however, suppressed a few hours later.

This file photo, shot in July 2016, shows Turkish opposition figure Fethullah Gulen at his compound in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, the United States. (Photo by AP)

Not only has Ankara accused Gulen of having orchestrated the failed coup, but the opposition figure is also accused of being behind a long-running campaign to topple the government via infiltrating the country’s institutions, particularly the army, police and the judiciary. 
Additionally, the Ankara government has outlawed his movement and has branded it as the Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETO). 
Gulen has denounced the “despicable putsch” and reiterated that he had no role in it.
“Accusations against me related to the coup attempt are baseless and politically motivated slanders,” he said.
The 76-year-old cleric has also called on Ankara to end its “witch hunt” of his followers, a move he said was aimed at “weeding out anyone it deems disloyal to President Erdogan and his regime.”

Paramilitary police and special force members escort outside the courthouse nearly 500 suspects accused of complicity in last year’s failed coup for trial in Ankara, Turkey, on August 1, 2017. (Photo by AP)

Turkish officials have frequently called on their US counterparts to extradite Gulen, but their demands have not been taken heed of.
Turkey, which remains in a state of emergency since the failed coup, has been engaged in suppressing the media and opposition groups suspected to have played a role in the botched coup.
Tens of thousands of people have been arrested in Turkey on suspicion of having links to Gulen and the failed coup. More than 110,000 others, including military staff, civil servants and journalists have been sacked or suspended from work over the same accusations.
The international community and rights groups have been highly critical of the Turkish president over the massive dismissals and the crackdown.
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