Anti-Turkey US think-tank prepares report in favor of FETÖ

DUYGU LELOĞLU
ISTANBUL
Published 05.01.2017 23:02

A think thank in the United States, which is known for its anti-Turkey stance, has recently prepared a report in favor of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and its leader Fetullah Gülen.

The Bipartisan Policy Center's report, aimed at providing guidance to the incoming Trump administration, calls on President-elect Donald Trump to not extradite FETÖ leader Gülen in order to not affect Turkish-U.S. relations.

Ankara has been requesting the extradition of Gülen on the grounds that he runs a terrorist group from Pennsylvania that attempted a coup d'etat in Turkey on the night of July 15, 2016.

"If you extradite Gülen to Turkey, it will damage both the dynamics of Turkish-U.S. relations and Turkey," the report claimed.

Fahrettin Altun, Istanbul coordinator for the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA), said that the report is obviously funded by outer circles. Altun contended that the section about FETÖ and Gülen's extradition aims to prolong the Turkish-U.S. crisis.

"These are spot-on moves aimed at triggering fault lines between Turkey and the U.S.," Altun said.

FETÖ leader Gülen has been living in Pennsylvania since 1999. In the July 15 coup attempt which he masterminded, a military junta tried to stage a coup to topple the democratically elected president and government in Turkey and impose martial law.

Turkish authorities issued an official request for Gülen's extradition on Sept. 13, under a 1979 treaty between Turkey and the U.S. Justice minister Bekir Bozdağ held a meeting with his U.S. counterpart Attorney General Loretta Lynch in late October, regarding the provisional arrest of the U.S.-based fugitive. Washington is yet to deliver it.

The report's anti-Turkey approach is not limited to the FETÖ issue. Even though Ankara sees the PKK's Syrian offshoot Democratic Union Party's (PYD) armed wing People's Protection Units (YPG) as a terrorist group, the think tank puts great emphasis on it in the report.

The think tank suggests to the Trump administration that it should continue working with the terrorist group on the ground in Syria. In addition, the report urges the Trump administration to look for other ways amid speculation about İncirlik Air Base.Altun contended that the think tank is of the opinion that the Trump administration should search for other options "in order to take the İncirlik card away from Turkey's hands."

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