Turkey increases pressure on U.S. to extradite Gulen, leaks general’s testimony

by WorldTribune Staff, July 27, 2016

As Turkey increased pressure on the United States to extradite cleric Fethullah Gulen for engineering the July 15 coup attempt, Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. would consider the move only if Turkey submits “legitimate evidence” of Gulen’s involvement.

“Turkish people are appalled at the U.S.’s insistence in harboring him,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu wrote in an op-ed published on Al Jazeera’s website on July 26.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. /AFP
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. /AFP

Cavusoglu added that what the Obama administration does next “may shape the future relations of the two key allies.”

Meanwhile, Turkish military chief of staff Gen. Hulusi Akar, in testimony leaked to the news media, gave his account of what happened while he was detained by military officers participating in the coup.

Akar said a brigadier general involved in the uprising offered to “put me in touch with their opinion leader Fethullah Gulen.” Akar said he refused to speak to Gulen or read out the manifesto the coup plotters had drafted declaring their takeover of the country.

Akar said he told the coup leaders that “the road they are taking is wrong, they are getting drowned in a swamp, they will pay for it.”

Kerry said the U.S. would consider Turkey’s request if Ankara were to submit “legitimate evidence [of Gulen’s involvement] that withstands scrutiny.”

The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to insist that Gulen had a direct hand in the coup plot, and called on the U.S. to take its extradition request seriously.