- Title: Turkish justice minister calls for extradition of cleric Gulen on U.S. visit
- Date: 27th October 2016
- Summary: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (OCTOBER 27, 2016) (REUTERS) TURKISH JUSTICE MINISTER BEKIR BOZDAG ENTERING NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH JUSTICE MINISTER, BEKIR BOZDAG, SAYING: "We expressed and conveyed Turkey's expectation to the attorney general, the leader and manager of FETO, Fethullah Gulen's extradition was on the agenda, and we just conveyed our opinions regarding the implementation of the treaty that is effective between our respective countries. We requested his extradition, and until his extradition, we requested the provisional arrest of Fethullah Gulen according to Article 10 of the agreement between our countries. And we also said that we are expecting to put an end to Fethullah Gulen's managing of the terrorist organization and continuing his terrorist activities from the United States." REPORTERS LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH JUSTICE MINISTER, BEKIR BOZDAG, SAYING: "Just imagine that there was an assassination attempt on President Obama and his family, or the White House and civilians were bombed, tanks were marching in the streets, people were shot, and 241 U.S. civilians were killed and around 3, 000 were wounded. Just imagine that scenario. And after all this, just imagine that the manager and the perpetrator of all these activities was residing in Turkey. What would the American people think about that? Whatever you would feel about this situation, my belief is that it would be the same as what's now being felt by the Turkish people. So we just want you to consider our sensitivity within this framework." WIDE SHOT BOZDAG LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH JUSTICE MINISTER, BEKIR BOZDAG, SAYING: "Of course, if the process is prolonged or if a flaw happens within that process, this would mean a huge blow between the relationship between Turkey and the United States." WIDE SHOT NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH JUSTICE MINISTER, BEKIR BOZDAG, SAYING: "Although this is a legal process, we still believe that the U.S. will not choose a terrorist over Turkey."
- Embargoed: 11th November 2016 17:35
- Keywords: Fethullah Gulen Muslim cleric Turkey extradition Bekir Bozdag Turkish Justice Minister Loretta Lynch
- Location: WASHINGTON, D.C. / SAYLORSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES
- City: WASHINGTON, D.C. / SAYLORSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Judicial Process/Court Cases/Court Decisions
- Reuters ID: LVA00155S8FGN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag called for the extradition of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen on Thursday (October 27), following a meeting with his U.S. counterpart, Attorney General Loretta Lynch in Washington.
Ankara wants the United States to detain and extradite Gulen so that he can be prosecuted in Turkey on a charge that he masterminded the attempt to overthrow the government.
Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, denies any involvement.
Speaking to reporters, Bozdag said the meeting with Lynch was a good opportunity to exchange views and promised a fair trial for Gulen if he is extradited.
"Of course, if the process is prolonged or if a flaw happens within that process, this would mean a huge blow between the relationship between Turkey and the United States," he warned.
"Although this is a legal process, we still believe that the U.S. will not choose a terrorist over Turkey," he added.
The White House on Thursday reiterated that a decision on Turkey's extradition request was pending the review of evidence presented by Ankara.
"President Obama's been just as serious about indicating that this is a process that must follow the outlines of the extradition treaty between the United States and Turkey, but also must be consistent with the laws that are on the books here in the United States," White House spokesman told reporters at the daily briefing.
Several of Gulen's relatives, including a nephew, niece and cousins, have been arrested since the failed July 15 coup.
In addition, authorities have cracked down on schools, media and businesses run by Gulen.
Some of Turkey's Western allies and human rights groups have accused Erdogan of using the putsch and the purge that has followed to suppress any opposition.
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