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Former Pentagon spokesman: Gülen should be extradited

EMRE ÖZÜM
ANKARA
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A former Pentagon spokesman and a retired U.S. navy commander, Jeffrey D. Gordon, wrote in a column published in The Hill, a political daily published in Washington, that Fethullah Gülen, the leader of the Gülen Movement, which is referred to by the Turkish government as a shadowy organization and accused of constructing parallel societies in various countries, should be sent back to Turkey to go under trial in a Turkish court. He described the Gülen Movement in the same context as terrorist organizations and said: "Considering it is hard enough to keep our country safe after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Boston Marathon, Ft. Hood, Chattanooga and San Bernardino, we don't need any help from individuals and organizations manipulating religion to build a personal cult."

Gordon also cited investigation into the misuse of government funds by Gülen charter schools. He wrote: "The FBI has been investigating numerous Gülen-linked schools for various allegations of improper use of public financing, while their shady immigration, contracting and salary practices for thousands of imported young male teachers have also raised questions in local communities. Where there's a perfect storm of corruption, indoctrination and proselytization, the next logical step is outreach to top U.S. politicians for building support."

He further touted the importance of Turkey as NATO's second-largest military force. He mentioned the challenges for Turkey such as the PKK and the 2.5 million Syrian refugees in Turkey. He said of the Gülen Movement: "The last thing the Turks need is a stealth force attempting to sink their government."

He drew attention to the importance of collaboration against terrorist attacks and organizations. "[T]he Turkish government had warned France twice about one of the Paris attackers, a French citizen who helped kill 89 people at the Bataclan Concert Hall last month. Yet nothing was done. The lesson is clear: Americans and Europeans must act on credible intelligence about extremists in our midst and take decisive action," he said.

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