UK ruling on FETÖ suspects upsets Turkey

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published

The denial of Turkey's extradition request for three senior figures of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) by a British court is "disappointing," a spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry said yesterday. In a written response to a question about the Nov. 28 ruling, Aksoy said, "The reasoning of the court to deny our extradition request is entirely unsubstantiated."

Judge John Zani said in the ruling that the case against Akın İpek, most prominent among the three FETÖ suspects, was "politically motivated." İpek was owner of a business empire in Turkey before he fled to the United Kingdom facing imminent charges related to his links to FETÖ. Talip Büyük, another defendant in the case, is FETÖ's alleged "imam" for Iraq, who controls the group's followers in that country. The other defendant, Ali Çelik, was the director of Bank Asya, a now-defunct lender linked to the group.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman's statement said that Turkey's expectation was the "prompt return of these persons to Turkey to try them in Turkish courts." Aksoy said the trio were prominent members of FETÖ "that carried out the treacherous July 15 coup attempt, claiming the lives of 251 innocent citizens and wounding thousands," referring to the 2016 coup attempt by FETÖ's military infiltrators, adding, "We are determined to pursue our efforts in this way.""It was strongly emphasized to the British authorities that the decision of the Westminster court, which refused the extradition of the accused to our country, was unacceptable and deeply disappointing," the statement concluded.

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