A Turkish court has sought the extradition of 54 fugitives involved in the July 15, 2016 coup attempt blamed on the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).
The 4th Criminal Court in Ankara is hearing a case involving 74 defendants, including FETÖ's U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen, accused of orchestrating the coup attempt that killed 249 people. Fifty-four are being tried in absentia. According to the latest data compiled by Anadolu Agency (AA), the court has asked the Justice Ministry to file extradition requests for 54 defendants, including senior FETÖ members, in the related countries.
The fugitives have been found living in 24 countries, including the U.S., Germany, Israel, the U.K., Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Malta and Albania.
The fugitives for whom extradition requests would be sent to the U.S. include Gülen, former editor-in-chief of FETÖ-linked Zaman newspaper Ekrem Dumanlı, senior imams tasked with coordinating the group's members in the judiciary, the military and the police as well as a former executive of FETÖ-linked Bank Asya.
Extradition requests will be submitted to the U.K. government for former Koza İpek Holding Hamdi head Akın İpek, former head of the closed FETÖ-linked Journalists and Writers Foundation Mustafa Yeşil and Talip Büyük, head of the terrorist group's network in Iraq.
The court also asked the Justice Ministry to file an extradition request in Albania for senior FETÖ member Nevzat Ayvacı.
Germany would be requested to extradite Abdullah Aymaz, one of top figures in the group after Gülen, as well as Faruk İlk and Mehmet Ali Şengül.
Bahattin Karataş, another senior FETÖ figure, will be sought from Malta.
The defendants, who were accused of attempting to overthrow the government and violate the constitution, are facing up to two aggravated life sentences.
They are facing 132 years in prison each for setting up an armed terrorist group, military and political espionage, forging documents and laundering money.