Turkey Officially Requests Fethullah Gülen Arrest in US Over Coup Suspicions
The Turkish government has made its first formal request of the US to arrest Islamic cleric Fethullah Guülen. Turkey suspects Gülen was behin a failed coup attempt in July. Turkey’s justice ministry has formally requested that the United States arrest Fethullah Gülen, an Turkish Islamic cleric who lives in the US, for “ordering and commanding the attempted coup” of July 15.
This is the first time Turkish officials have requested Gülen’s arrest, although they have made several attempts to have Gülen extradited.
The US has said it wants additional evidence from Turkey to substantiate its claim that Gulen was behind the overthrow attempt in July. US officials also deny claims that they knew of the coup attempt before it happened.
Gülen lives in self-imposed exile in the United States. He was once an ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, but the relationship between the two has shifted dramatically in recent years. Now, Erdoğan and the Turkish government place the blame for the coup on Gülen and his sympathizers.
Gülen denies any involvement in the coup attempt. US officials have said that any decision on whether to act on Turkey’s requests will be based on US law and not on political fact.