'Turkey formally requests US arrest of cleric Gulen over coup plot'

Turkey blames members of Gulen's religious movement for the failed coup two months ago.

By REUTERS
September 13, 2016 11:12
1 minute read.

Erdogan: US needs to choose between Turkey or Gulen

Erdogan: US needs to choose between Turkey or Gulen

Turkey has made a formal request to the United States for the arrest of US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen on charges of orchestrating an attempted military coup on July 15, Turkish broadcaster NTV said on Tuesday.

Turkey blames members of Gulen's religious movement for the failed coup two months ago, in which rogue soldiers commandeered tanks and fighters jets, bombing parliament and seizing bridges in a bid to take over power.

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan discussed the issue with US President Barack Obama at the G20 summit in China earlier this month. A senior US administration official said at the time that Obama had explained to Erdogan that the decision would be a legal, not a political one.

Washington previously said Ankara must first provide clear evidence of Fethullah Gulen's involvement in the attempted coup and lawyers have said any extradition process could take years. Gulen has condemned the July 15 abortive coup and denied any involvement.

Turkey called for Gulen's extradition even before the coup, on suspicion he was planning an attempt to seize power. A Turkish court issued an arrest warrant in December  2014 for Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999.


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