The Turkish government is calling for concrete steps by the US to extradite preacher Fethullah Gülen and other members of his movement.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu said today at a Doha forum that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed the issue on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires two weeks ago with US President Donald Trump. „The last time we met in Buenos Aires, President Trump told Erdogan they were working on it. But we have to see concrete steps. “
The Turkish government blames Gülen for the July 2016 coup attempt. During a visit to Washington, Cavusoglu had given his US counterpart Mike Pompeo a list of 84 alleged members of the Gülen movement, whose extradition Turkey demands. „Our expectations are very clear,“ said Cavusoglu in Doha. The 84 wanted would have to be delivered by the US.
Gülen has long been living in US exile in the state of Pennsylvania. He denies any involvement in the attempted coup that had been crushed. According to official Turkish data, more than 250 people were killed in the coup attempt.
US President Trump said a month ago that Gülen’s extradition „is not up for discussion.“ At the same time he had said that they always try to accommodate Turkey. Erdogan had called him a „friend.“ Shortly before, US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said, „The White House has not been involved in any discussion of the extradition of Fethullah Gulen.“ The material that the Turkish government has submitted with their requests for extradition is being turned into one checked.
Nauert had responded to a report in the station NBC. NBC had reported that the White House had been seeking information from various authorities about legal opportunities to get Gülen out of the country.
Since the coup attempt of 2016, the Turkish government has been cracking down on alleged members of the Gülen movement. According to official figures from mid-November, around 218,000 people have been arrested since 2016 for alleged links with the putschists. More than 140,000 people were dismissed from the civil service.