Turkey urges Trump to extradite Gulen

Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey, November 8, 2016. (Reuters)

Turkey’s prime minister has called on Donald Trump on Wednesday to extradite a US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen - blamed by Ankara for the failed coup in July - as soon as he is sworn in.

American authorities are studying the evidence against Gulen provided by Turkey before deciding on whether or not to extradite the former Erdogan ally.

US-Turkish relations have worsened since the July 15 coup and the former's refusal to bow to Turkey's demands regarding Gulen. He is accused of coordinating "terrorist" activity in Turkey from the US state of Pennsylvania through what Erdogan's government describes as the Fethullah Terror Organisation (FETO).

Gulen, who has lived in the US since 1999, claims to run a peaceful religious and educational network called the Gulen Movement.

Binali Yildirim also said Wednesday that he hoped that the new leadership in the United States would take into consideration Turkey’s “sensitivities concerning the fight against terrorism,” give priority to policies that would bring peace and stability to the region and advance traditional friendship between the two countries.

Ties between the two allies have been strained over perceptions in Turkey that the United States is reluctant to arrest and extradite Gulen. Turkey’s is also frustrated by Washington’s backing to Syrian Kurdish militia that are fighting the ISIS group in Syria and which Ankara considers to be a terrorist group.

(AP and AFP)

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 13:59 - GMT 10:59