US Justice Department officials to visit Turkey, discuss extradition of Gülen

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 18.08.2016 16:12
Updated 18.08.2016 16:13

Officials from the Department of Justice in the U.S. are scheduled to travel to Turkey on Aug. 23 to discuss the extradition process for Fethullah Gülen, the putative leader of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).

During their two-day visit, officials from the Justice Department's General Directorate of International Law and Foreign Relations will hold meetings with prosecutors from Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir who handle cases of terrorism and organized crime.

Turkish prosecutors will inform U.S. officials regarding FETÖ activities and discuss the extradition process as well as the Tahşiye case, a fabricated lawsuit which was orchestrated by FETÖ police officers, prosecutors and judges who sought the removal of a cleric who was critical of Gülen.

The Turkish delegation which will meet with Justice Department officials will include Ankara's Deputy Chief Prosecutor Necip Cem İşçimen, who prepared the indictment regarding FETÖ, İzmir's Deputy Chief Prosecutor Okan Bato, İstanbul's Deputy Chief Prosecutor İsmail Uçar and Istanbul's public prosecutor for terror and organized crimes, Hasan Yılmaz.

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Saturday that U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will also visit Turkey on Aug. 24.

Speaking with the media at Çankaya Palace, Yıldırım said that Turkey will not negotiate with the U.S. regarding Gülen's extradition, adding that it is unacceptable for the U.S. to stall in the process. "There can be no compromise on bringing the terrorist leader [Gülen] to justice in Turkey. Considering the price Turkey has paid – including the deaths of more than 240 martyrs and more than 2,195 left injured – and the social, psychological and financial damage suffered in Turkey, when the evidence is obvious there can be no compromise."

Yıldırım said that if the U.S. remains unyielding to Ankara's demands then, "it has failed to understand the common feelings of 79 million [Turks]." Last Thursday, Biden assured Prime Minister Yıldırım that America "would work" together with Turkey on the extradition of Gülen.

On Aug. 1, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford became the first senior U.S. official to visit the country following the July 15 coup attempt. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is also scheduled to visit Turkey in October. The Turkish government has provided evidence which proves that Gülen and his cult-like network are behind the bloody coup attempt, which sought to overthrow the democratically elected government by means of its infiltration of state institutions, a shady practice which formed what is commonly known as the "parallel state."

Regarding Gülen's extradition, Turkey has submitted repeated formal requests along with boxes of evidence to the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as information which illustrates the group's well-known motives to directly target Turkey's democratically elected government. Testimony from leading figures involved in the coup attempt points to the U.S.-based Gülen as being responsible for the attempted coup but America continues to display reluctance with regards to his extradition, demanding that Turkey provide "hard evidence."

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