Turkish Delegation Puts Pressure On US for Gülen’s Extradition
During interviews in different media outlets in New York, President Erdoğan said that the U.S. should “not harbor a terrorist” like Fethullah Gülen while FM Çavuşoğlu said Turkey has felt “disappointment” with the Gülen’s extradition process, as he still has not been delivered to Turkish authorities
A Turkish delegation led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan arrived in New York for the U.N. General Assembly on Monday with a broad public awareness offensive against Fethullah Gülen, the accused mastermind of the failed July 15 coup attempt in Turkey.
President Erdoğan told Reuters in an interview on Monday that the United States should “not harbor a terrorist” like U.S.-based Gülen, the leader of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), and that his activities should be banned around the world.
Erdoğan said Washington has no excuse for keeping Gülen, whose followers have infiltrated Turkish state institutions over decades with the apparent aim of taking over the country.
Erdoğan said the initial three-month state of emergency, declared in the wake of the July 15 coup attempt, could be extended if necessary.
The failed July 15 coup attempt, which left 241 people dead and nearly 2,200 injured, was organized by followers of Gülen, who has lived in self-imposed exile on a 400-acre property in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania since 1999.
Gülen has led a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary, forming what the government has called the “parallel structure.”
FM says Turkey disappointed with extradition process
In an interview with CNN International’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Turkey has experienced “disappointment” with the extradition process for Gülen, as he still has not been delivered to Turkish authorities.
He said FETÖ members have infiltrated the military, judiciary, police forces and other state institutions, including the Foreign Ministry, citing that 500 personnel there were FETÖ-linked. “You can predict the numbers of people who have infiltrated other state institutions,” Çavuşoğlu said, adding they have to be sure that Turkey will never face such a situation again.
Speaking on the extradition process for Gülen, Çavuşoğlu said Ankara has been expecting a positive decision and asserted that in addition to U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry also told him that they want to extradite him to Turkey. “They [U.S. authorities] demanded evidence for the extradition, so we sent it. We are preparing a new file regarding the failed coup attempt, and we’ll transmit it to the U.S. as soon as it is done. There is cooperation between the two countries about the process, but we need to get a result, and the best result is his extradition. Actually, we are disappointed about this issue,” he said.
FETÖ investigation continues, 141 more people detained
A total of 141 people were detained in 15 cities as a part of the FETÖ investigation carried out by the Kayseri Public Prosecutor’s Office. The suspects were identified from their texts on the cryptographic message system Bylock, which has been using by FETÖ members for communication, especially during the coup attempt. Meanwhile, the detainee named A.A., who was charged during the investigation in Zonguldak, is, allegedly, the Gülenist network’s Kyrgyzstan imam.
Main opposition leader advocated FETÖ-linked media
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s comments on Monday on a television program about the ongoing FETÖ investigation cause some eyebrows to raise, as he opposed the closure of a FETÖ-linked newspaper and television.Speaking on CNN Türk, Kılıçdaroğlu said: “Why are those [newspapers and TV’s] being shut down? At those television stations, not only was [FETÖ] broadcasting, but also many independent figures were preparing news and TV programs.”