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The process behind ‘the process'

HAKKI ÖCAL
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The process behind ‘the process'

With this process ‘Behind the Process' of the U.S. handling Turkey's demand of Gülen's extradition, one wonders if Gülen will ever return home for prosecution

I am not suggesting that America dragging its feet about the proposed extradition of Fethullah Gülen is the litmus test of the U.S.-backing of the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey. The U.S. record in supporting - at times organizing and implementing - coups in foreign countries made it a usual suspect in this terrible event. In the words of Michael Werz and Max Hoffman in their article titled "The Process Behind Turkey's Proposed Extradition of Fethullah Gülen"

"It is hard to overstate the gravity of what happened in Turkey during the failed July 15 coup attempt. More than 270 [sic] people were killed and thousands wounded in clashes related to the attempted overthrow of the elected government. Tanks and armored vehicles rumbled through the streets of Istanbul and Ankara; soldiers fired into civilian crowds; and rogue F-16 jets and military helicopters bombed and strafed targets in Ankara, including the parliament, the intelligence ministry, and the presidential palace."

The events, as disastrous as summarized here, had an impact on the public psyche that is not easily grasped by the foreign observers. We were betrayed by our own military yet again. We saw the ugly face of a specter that marred our democratic life, which killed, jailed and exiled our elected leaders.

If you keep reading the article, you might think the authors have a true understanding of "Turkey's trauma," and the "outpouring of anger and emotion from Turks of all political backgrounds." They rightly saw the Western response to the coup attempt as thoughtless and superficial and they acknowledge that Turks want "those behind the coup attempt must be brought to justice and face trial."

The article was published in the Center For American Progress (CAP), "a progressive public policy research and advocacy organization presenting a liberal viewpoint on economic and social issues" whose administrators worked for Hillary Clinton's campaign as well as the Bill Clinton White House. In a "brief" published by such a "progressive" organization as this, you might expect some guidance to the U.S. administration that a neo-conservative organization could not give.

Turkey had demanded Gülen's extradition long before the coup attempt. He has been indicted twice in courts of law as a mastermind and leader of an armed terrorist organization. His organization has been accused of infiltration into government apparatuses, chiefly into the police, armed forces and the judiciary.

Turkey submitted volumes of indictments, court papers and witness testimonies to the State Department to secure his arrest and extradition to Turkey. Lately, Turkey sent yet another dossier on him that consists of the most damming testimony about his involvement in the coup attempt. The Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar has testified after his rescue that during his capture the putschists asked him to speak on the phone directly to the "Efendi" himself. His followers address him as "Hodja efendi." Gen. Akar refused, and was interned in a military base during the night.

Werz and Hoffman in their 13-page "brief" (with 59 footnotes from newspapers, U.S. laws, court cases and legal opinions) tell how these "proposals" are not going to work: Turkish demands carry with them a large "amount of political or emotional pressure." Also they say that the "evidence" should "show probable cause to believe that Gülen has committed a crime. Not only that, the U.S. State and Justice Departments should be convinced that he can receive a fair trial in Turkey: "If the U.S. government concludes he cannot receive a fair trial, he will not be extradited."

Werz and Hoffman go on stating that Turkish officials publicly "reinforced the idea that the United States is somehow protecting Gülen or resisting the extradition process. That is not true."

The false information about the Turkish officials comes from a source whose credibility has long been questioned. (See Professor Adam McConell's two-part articles on this: In an article that has almost all sentences footnoted, the expression that "That is not true" is the only sentence that has no source other than the authors' themselves. No, government officials have not reinforced the idea that that the United States was somehow protecting Gülen or resisting the extradition process. But many others have expressed this. How do Werz and Hoffman know it is not true?

Now based on this premise, they recommend, "The Turkish government should publicly and repeatedly condemn those who link the United States to the coup attempt." Simply because "these accusations cast a shadow over the entire extradition request."

With this process "Behind the Process" of the U.S. handling Turkey's demand of extradition of Gülen, one wonders if Gülen will ever return home for prosecution.

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