Turkish FM urges US to extradite Fetullah Gulen

In an article to Al Jazeera, Cavusoglu tells how citizens of Turkey responded to July 15 coup attempt

Turkish FM urges US to extradite Fetullah Gulen

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey has reiterated its calls on U.S. authorities to take swift actions to restrict activities of Pennsylvania-based preacher Fetullah Gulen, held responsible for the deadly July 15 coup attempt, and extradite him to Turkey.

In an opinion article published by Al Jazeera early Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said "Gulen’s extradition to Turkey is the strongest expectation of the people of Turkey from the US."

"The position of the US on this vital matter is what may shape the future relations of the two key allies," Cavusoglu said.

Turkey accuses Gulen of being the coup plotter and his Gulenist Terror Organization or Parallel State Structure (FETO/PDY) of being behind the failed coup on July 15.

At least 246 people were martyred and thousands of others wounded when rogue elements of the Turkish military tried to overthrow the country's democratically elected government.

"The statements of those under arrest and the information from multiple agencies prove that this terrorist coup attempt was staged by the Fethullah Gulen Extremist Organisation," Cavusoglu wrote in the article.

"For more than 30 years Fethullah Gulen has encouraged his followers to infiltrate the military and judiciary in Turkey," he said.

Having formed a broad network of schools, NGOs and businesses, Gulen covertly infiltrated into public offices to overthrow the democratically elected government in Turkey, according to Cavusoglu.

Gulen had already been sought by Turkish officials to stand trial on "several counts of conspiracy".

The US has not yet extradited him to Turkey and continues to renew his residency permit, Cavusoglu said.

"Gulen's activities have jeopardized the stability and constitutional order of NATO ally Turkey," Cavusoglu said. "Any support rendered to Gulen and his terrorist organization does not comply with the spirit of cooperation between Turkey and the US."


- 'Miraculous moment'


The people of Turkey took to the streets immediately to stop the coup attempt, which saw war jets bomb key points in the capital Ankara, including the Turkish parliament and the presidential complex.

Fighter jets were firing at the police stations, killing dozens of police officers. Military tanks were also in the streets of Istanbul and Ankara, even on the Bosphorus Bridge to block the crossings between the city's Asian and European sides, with the false announcement of the army having seized control of the country.

"At this point, something miraculous and unprecedented happened. The citizens of Turkey responded, realizing that their democracy was in danger," Cavusoglu said.

"Social media accelerated the spread of news, and within hours, millions of Turks filled the city centers demanding that soldiers return to their barracks," he said.

Five hours into the attempted coup, tanks that had been sent into the streets to intimidate the people were surrounded by masses of Turks, who Cavusoglu said were "furious at the attempt to interfere with democratic order in the country."

"Soldiers who had fired on innocent civilians put down their arms and surrendered. The coup had failed," he said.

"Democracy was protected by ordinary citizens who had gathered to oppose the coup," Cavusoglu said.



Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Temmuz 2016, 15:20