A group of demonstrators rallied on Wednesday along the route of US Vice President Joe Biden in the capital Ankara to demand that Washington accelerate the extradition of terror cult leader Fetullah Gülen, while Biden was heading to meet Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.
Biden was scheduled to meet Yıldırım and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to discuss relations between Ankara and Washington, which have been clouded by public outrage over perceived reluctance to extradite Gülen, despite the overwhelming belief among the Turkish public that he is responsible for the attempted coup on July 15.
Gülen, who currently resides in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, is the most wanted terrorist figure in Turkey, following the attempted coup, which Ankara blames on Gülenist infiltrators within the Turkish Armed Forces. Statements by Washington after the foiled plot to seize power were viewed with suspicion, as polls of the Turkish public indicate a widespread belief that the United States administration played a role in the attempted coup. A U.S. request for more concrete evidence of Gülen's role in the attempted coup as a precondition for extradition met with public backlash.
The group of demonstrators waiting for Biden's motorcade held banners reading "What if bin Laden was in Turkey after 9/11, and we didn't hand him over" along with other slogans, urging Washington to consider their reaction if the coup attempt was masterminded by someone living in another country.
The demonstrators dispersed without incident after Biden's motorcade passed by.