U.S. officials, speaking about the latest debate of the extradition of Fethullah Gülen, the leader of the Gülen Movement, have reportedly said that the Justice Department will process the application for his extradition, but have underscored that it might take a long time.
U.S. diplomatic sources assessed the latest developments in Turkey beginning with the operation that was launched as part of an investigation by an Istanbul prosecutor into Gülen Movement-linked media staffers and police officers and deepened as a Turkish court accepted prosecutor's request for Gülen's arrest. The court decision enables the judge to ask Interpol to issue a Red Notice since Gülen currently lives in in self-imposed exile Pennsylvania, U.S., and cannot directly be reached by Turkish officials.
"The suspect, Fethullah Gulen, the leader of a criminal organization known as the Hizmet Movement, which was structured unlawfully in economic and bureaucratic institutions, has not returned to the country since he left in 1998," the request said.
U.S. sources, who refrained from making comments on presumptive matters, said the general procedures are followed for extraditions requests. "All of the applications go through the same judicial process and the standards are equal for every country," the sources said.
A treaty titled, The Treaty on Extradition and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the United States and the Republic of Turkey was signed in 1979 and was effective as of Jan. 1, 1981.This treaty stipulates: "The Contracting Parties undertake to surrender to each other, in accordance with the provisions and conditions laid down in this Treaty, all persons who are found within the territory of the Requested Party and who are being prosecuted for, or have been charged with, an offense, or convicted of an offense, or are sought by the other Party for the enforcement of a judicially pronounced penalty for an offense committed within the territory of the Requesting Party."
In a recent press statement, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu signaled that a Red Notice may be issued for Gülen and that all necessary legal measures would be taken in the case that judicial authorities believe a crime has been committed.
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