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Gulen: I would accept extradition to Turkey if Washington requested it

By Rudaw 12/7/2017
Turkish Cleric Fethullah Gulen. AP file photo
Turkish Cleric Fethullah Gulen. AP file photo
Erbil, Kurdistan Region – The US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who has been in exile in the US since 1999 has stated that he has no intentions to flee America to avoid extradition and that he is willing to be sent back to Turkey if Washington requests it.

In an interview with Reuters, Gulen, 79, who leads the Hizmet Movement in Turkey, also known as the Gulenist movement, denies allegations that he has intentions to fleeing the US.

"The rumors aren't true at all," he told Reuters.

"If the United States sees it appropriate to extradite me, I would leave (for Turkey)," he said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has appealed to US President Donald Trump directly regarding the extradition of Gulen to Turkey and said in a statement in May that he would pursue it “to the end.”

Gulen has been accused by Erdogan and the Turkish government of orchestrating last year’s failed coup attempt in Turkey that killed more than 240 people and his network of followers were declared a terrorist organization just two months prior to the incident.

"I have never supported a coup or an ouster," Gulen stated.

Regarded as one of the most influential figures in recent Turkish politics, Gulen was once a key supporter of Erdogan in his rise to power in mid-2000.

But their relationship came to an abrupt end in 2013 after a corruption scandal involving Erdogan’s closest circles pitted the two men against one other. 

Erdogan’s consolidation of power has been denounced by Gulen, who has referred to Turkey’s president as “a dictator” and has encouraged the Trump administration as well as European governments to do more to restore political freedoms in Turkey.

"(If Erdogan hears) a strong voice from the United States or European Union, European Parliament, Brussels, saying: 'What you are doing is wrong ... your judicial system is not working,' then maybe he will change his mind," the cleric stated.



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Not easy | 12/7/2017
Not that easy for Washington to extradite Gullen. First Washington need solid proof not just written documentation from Turkey. Then they have to go to court to get extradition order before Gullen can be extradite. Secondly Gullen can then appeal the order. And it can take years and years. Also court are unwilling to extradite anybody to a country like Turkey.
pre-Boomer Marine brat | 12/7/2017
He's saying these things because he believes he's safe here. ... Why? Because he's been making huge donations to American institutions for years, cultivating a lobby of very influential people who'll swear that he's the nicest, most moderate, least religion-focused, most democracy-inclined chap on the face of the planet. He has literally hundreds of movers-and-shakers who'll swear in a court of law that he's no threat to anyone, anywhere. … None of those have seen the videos which surfaced in Turkey 20 years ago. None have a clue regarding the tactical directions and deceptions used by Turkish Islamists over the past few decades, Necmettin Erbakan and the rest. They are suckers, being played like trout.
duroi | 13/7/2017
Interesting how these former Islamist colleagues in Turkey have turned against each other. Gulen network and his followers corrupted the judicial system in Turkey and now he is facing the same justice that others were subjected to by his followers. Karma is a bitch, send him back to Turkey to face the same distorted justice that his followers subjected others. A lesson for others in the region including Gulen and Erdogan followers in Turkey and Khamenei and Mussavi/Rouhani followers in Iran.
Mohamedzzz | 13/7/2017
Gulen should be patient, American government will send him back when the time is right to replace Erdogan.
kurd | 13/7/2017
Gulen knows that USA will not extradite him because once in turkish court, he will reveal his tie to CIA which USA does not want to see.
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