Members of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) living in the United States face a barrage of extradition requests from Ankara. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu announced that he delivered a list of 84 FETÖ suspects they sought to be extradited to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton.
Speaking to reporters in Washington D.C. where he attended a United Nations event on Tuesday, Çavuşoğlu said he discussed with U.S. officials on Turkey's expectations from Washington on FETÖ. He said a list of FETÖ members was already discussed in a phone call between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and U.S. President Donald Trump and he physically handed the list to Bolton and Pompeo. He said the list might be expanded in the future, depending on court rulings and possible new evidence from FETÖ cases in Turkey.
As part of their efforts to bring members of the FETÖ network back to Turkey, the authorities made extradition requests for 452 suspects to 83 countries. The U.S. has received the highest number of extradition requests. Turkey has sent seven extradition requests for group's leader Fetullah Gülen to Washington but has seen little progress with the process. Gülen lives in a luxurious retreat operated by a foundation linked to FETÖ in Pennsylvania and occasionally gives interviews to foreign media, although he never steps out of the tightly-guarded complex. The U.S. refuses to recognize him and his group as terrorists despite the fact that Turkey sent what Ankara called "hundreds of folders" of evidence that implicates FETÖ in the coup attempt and other wrongdoings.
President Trump last week said that the extradition of Gülen to Turkey was not on his agenda. "No, it's not under consideration," Trump told reporters on Saturday. Çavuşoğlu told reporters they did not understand what Trump meant and "he probably meant there was not a made decision about the matter." "They told us that they were seriously looking into the matter and it was them who asked for the extradition list actually," Çavuşoğlu said.
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