Turkey Urges Washington To Extradite Fethullah Gulen

Timagesurkey on Thursday made a new call for Washington to extradite the US-based Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen.

Erdogan accuses Gulen and his supporters of using influence within the judiciary, police and state bureaucracy to plot against the government.

In an intensification of the campaign against his movement, Turkish banking authorities this week seized control of Bank Asya, an Islamic bank founded by followers of Gulen.

“Of course he should be extradited. There is already an agreement between Turkey and the United States. There are international treaties,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said,
“We are working in close cooperation with the United States on this matter,” he said in the southern city of Antalya, without elaborating.

Turkey and the United States signed an extradition treaty in 1979, but legal experts say that a crime requiring extradition must be recognised in both countries.

In December, an Istanbul court issued an arrest warrant for Gulen, accusing him of setting up and directing an “armed terrorist organisation.”

But the United States has so far paid little attention to repeated requests from Turkey for Gulen’s extradition from his secluded compound in the state of Pennsylvania.

Gulen leads a broad powerful movement known as “Hizmet” (Service), believed to be supported by millions of Turks and which brings together interests ranging from finance to schools to media.