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State media: Turkey sends formal request for extradition of Gulen from US

July 19,2016 19:06

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim confirmed Tuesday an official request was sent to the United States for the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, a suspect linked to Friday's coup attempt, according to state-run media. “We have sent four dossiers to ...

TOP TRENDING Jessica Durando, USA TODAY 12:32 p.m. EDT July 19, 2016
Turkey's president says the coup was organized by the followers of Fethullah Gülen, a cleric living in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania.
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NewslookTurkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim confirmed Tuesday an official request was sent to the United States for the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, a suspect linked to Friday's coup attempt, according to state-run media.“We have sent four dossiers to the United States for the extradition of the terrorist chief," Yildirim said during the ruling Justice and Development Party meeting at the parliament in Ankara, Anadolu Agency reported.The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation that the extradition plea was made.The Pennsylvania cleric accused by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of being behind the weekend coup attempt insisted Monday that he would have tried to stop any takeover had he known about it.“I condemn and reject in the strongest terms the attempted coup,” Gulen, 77, said in an interview with USA TODAY and several other reporters.Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in Brussels Monday the U.S. would agree to an extradition request for Gulen only if there was compelling proof of wrongdoing."We need to see genuine evidence that withstands the standard of scrutiny that exists in many countries' system of law with respect to the issue of extradition," Kerry said. "If it meets that standard, there's nothing — there's no interest we have in standing in the way of appropriately honoring the treaty that we have with Turkey."White House Press Spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday that "the suggestion that somehow the United States is harboring Mr. Gulen is factually incorrect."Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said the U.S. extraditing Gulen would be the "greatest sign of solidarity."There are 9,322 suspects of the coup attempt, and all are going through legal procedures, Kurtulmus said.A thousand pro-government protesters rallied in Istanbul on Tuesday, waving flags, and demanding the death penalty for those involved with the coup, the Associated Press reported.The Supreme Council of Radio and Television also cancelled licenses of 24 Gulen-linked broadcasters – including Samanyolu, Can Erzincan television and Dunya Radio, according to the agency.Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania, speaks to reporters July 18, 2016. (Photo: Oren Dorell, USA TODAY)Erdogan, who beat down the attempted coup by Saturday morning, has rounded up and dismissed thousands of members of the military, police and judiciary he accuses of being followers of Gulen and plotting against Turkey’s democratically elected government.Turkey’s Board of Higher Education requested resignations from 1,577 university deans. Of the deans dismissed, 1,176 worked in public universities and 401 in private institutions, Anadolu reported Tuesday.Gulen, a former political ally of Erdogan, preaches a moderate form of Islam and has lived in self-exile in Pennsylvania since 1999. His followers run a network of charter schools and cultural centers in the United States and are prolific political donors.Contributing: Oren DorellRead or Share this story: http://usat.ly/2a7SiCQ

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