FM Çavuşoğlu: Response to Gülen's extradition may shape US-Turkish relations
by Daily Sabah
ANKARAJul 27, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Jul 27, 2016 12:00 am
Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has written an op-ed on the foiled coup attempt of July 15 and Gülenists for the media outlet Al-Jazeera. Summarizing the events that transpired during the night of the coup, Çavuşoğlu elaborated on Fethullah Gülen and his followers' involvement in the coup, along with their infiltration of the Turkish state. Çavuşoğlu urged the U.S. to extradite the fugitive imam, who currently resides on a compound in Pennsylvania. In his article published by Al-Jazeera, Çavuşoğlu stated that members of a sleeper cell within the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) were connected to the Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization (FETÖ)coup attempt. Çavuşoğlu said the rogue officers wreaked havoc by using hijacked F-16s to bomb certain state institutions, including the police headquarters and the Turkish Parliament, killing dozens of police officers. Moreover, Çavuşoğlu remarked that Hulusi Akar, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and numerous high-ranking generals were abducted by their own security details.
Dubbing it a "miraculous moment," Çavuşoğlu praised the bravery of the people who took the streets by the hundreds of thousands upon hearing of the coup attempt, "confronting soldiers armed with heavy artillery, tanks and assault rifles." Çavuşoğlu added that the terrorist organization ordered the rogue officers to shoot anyone who resisted, resulting in the deaths of 179 civilians by gunfire originating from helicopters and assault rifles. This brutal slaughter of the people, Çavuşoğlu added, caused many more furious thousands to pour onto the streets to protect democracy. Similarly, all parties in Parliament stood united against the coup, he claimed, proving Turkey's dedication to democratic values.
Çavuşoğlu said the statements of the arrested putschists and "information from multiple agencies" proved Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization's involvement in the coup. Saying that Gülen had already been encouraging his followers to infiltrate the military and the judiciary in Turkey for over 30 years, Çavuşoğlu added that Gülen has also established "a broad network of schools, non-governmental organizations and businesses" in various parts of the world, including the U.S., to further his agenda.
Urging the extradition of Gülen by the U.S., Çavuşoğlu affirmed that Gülen standing trial in Turkey is the will of both the Turkish public and the government. Moreover, he stated that "any support rendered to Gülen and his terrorist organization does not comply with the spirit of cooperation between Turkey and the U.S." Çavuşoğlu said the response from Washington to this crucial issue may shape future relations between Turkey and the U.S.