Ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Deputy Chairman Cevdet Yılmaz said on Thursday that Fethullah Gülen's extradition would improve U.S.-Turkish relations. "If they had wanted to improve democracy in the region, the West should have supported Turkey against Gülen," Yılmaz said in comments to members of foreign news outlets at AK Party headquarters in Ankara along with the party's other deputy chairmen, Mehdi Eker and Yasin Aktay.
Yılmaz called the July 15 coup attempt the single most tragic event in the history of Turkish democracy. "This tragic event, which is like a scar in our history, has uncovered Turkish democracy's maturity. It has significantly decreased the political polarization in our society. Turkey has a better democratic and reconciliatory culture than before July 15," he said. Yılmaz said the government will utilize this political environment to further improve the country's democracy. "The new reforms that regulate the relations between the military and the civilian administration will be made according to EU regulations. As a result, these relations will become healthier," Yılmaz said. Explaining that unregulated relations between the military and civilian rule will also negatively affect the economy, Yılmaz said, "Turkey will become a first-class economy through the implementation of reforms and the lessons we have learned from this event."
Eker said that Gülenists, similar to Daesh, have a negative influence on Islam. He continued: "If we had noticed this threat 20 years ago, we wouldn't have gone through this painful process. Therefore, I am urging the countries in which Gülenists have institutions to take precautions against this parasitic structure before it is too late."
Aktay said human rights organizations' reports, which have alleged Gülenist detainees are tortured, are groundless. "These organizations, which have waited until thousands of Syrians were dead to investigate human rights infringements, have published reports just two days after the coup attempt. Their timing is intriguing," Aktay said.