CHP leader backs gov’t claims on Gülen, contradicting party candidate


The main opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP) chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu stated late Monday that the documents sent by Ankara to Washington are enough for the extradition of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) leader, contradicting previous claims by the party's presidential candidate Muharrem İnce, that the extradition documents lacked legally sufficient content. Speaking in a televised interview, Kılıçdaroğlu stated, "there are some procedural shortcomings, but these are not vital procedural shortcomings. According to the documents (sent to the United States), Gülen must be extradited to us," referring to FETÖ leader, Fetullah Gülen.

İnce previously claimed that he was called by an American and told that the application for extradition of the FETÖ leader, who masterminded the July 15 coup attempt, was not submitted in accordance with required legal procedures. Upon the claims of İnce, a four-person CHP delegation visited Turkey's Justice Ministry to examine the documents submitted against Gülen.

Following their examinations, the delegation presented İnce a report on the documents. In relation to this report, Kılıçdaroğlu said that a three-page report was submitted to him.

"The same report was given to İnce," Kılıçdaroğlu said, and added that the documents were enough for the extradition.

Commenting on the issue, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said Tuesday that since İnce failed to prove his claims he needs to apologize to the Turkish public.

He said that "CHP chairman Kılıçdaroğlu has refuted Mr. İnce, because the same report was given to him as well. İnce was supposed to show the same virtuous stance as that of Kılıçdaroğlu."

He stressed that CHP's İnce was not able to announce the name of the American whom he claimed called him regarding the extradition documents.

Bozdağ underlined that the CHP's delegation spent five hours in the Justice Ministry and examined all the documents and they were also able to ask any questions regarding the issue. He reiterated that there were no shortcomings in relation to the application for the extradition of the FETÖ leader.

Gülen has been living in the U.S. in self-imposed exile since 1999. His extradition was requested by Turkey for being the leader of FETÖ and for masterminding the failed July 15, 2016 coup attempt in Turkey which left 250 civilians and soldiers dead and nearly 2,200 injured.

The U.S., where the terrorist group runs a network of charter schools, has been a safe haven for fugitive FETÖ members. Turkey says the U.S. has turned the extradition matter into a political issue rather than handling the case as a legal matter.

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