An arrest warrant has been issued for the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ) leader, Fethullah Gülen, for masterminding the July 15 coup attempt.
Upon a request from Prosecutor Can Tuncay, who has been conducting the investigation into the coup attempt, an arrest warrant was issued for the fugitive, U.S.-based, retired imam. Tuncay said in his request that there is tangible evidence that Gülen was behind the coup attempt and that he does not respond to calls from the prosecutor's office.
Apart from other arrest warrants, this is the first warrant filed for Gülen for masterminding the coup attempt. The decision was reportedly made on the grounds that the court has no doubt of Gülen's involvement in the coup attempt.
Ankara sent a second request to the U.S. asking for the detention and extradition of Gülen, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ announced Tuesday. He told reporters in Ankara on Tuesday that the request comes on the heels of the initial demands for his extradition, which were made on July 19. Bozdağ said: "We wrote and sent it [the warrant], saying: 'There are serious claims and statements [indicating] that Gülen had a hand in the coup attempt. That is why he needs to be arrested immediately. We have intelligence that suggests he is a flight risk and could flee to a third country.'"
Bozdağ said that Gülen cannot leave the U.S. without government permission or approval. He added that if the U.S. allows Gülen to flee to another country, relations between Turkey and the U.S. would be "negatively affected."
Bozdağ said he hopes the U.S will meet the requirements of a democratic state governed by the rule of law and extradite Gülen to Turkey. "I think that the U.S. can no longer keep such a guilty person there under any circumstances."
Ankara wants the U.S. to detain Gülen temporarily out of concerns that he could flee the country. In late July, Ankara made the request shortly after Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım announced that the government had submitted four dossiers asking for his extradition.
Gülen is accused of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of government institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary, forming what the government has called the "parallel structure."
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