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Turkey officially requests US to extradite coup mastermind Fethullah Gulen

Turkey has officially requested the United States government for the extradition of Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who was accused by Ankara of plotting a failed military coup.

India TV Politics Desk [ Published on: July 20, 2016 7:18 IST ]
Fethullah Gulen
Fethullah Gulen

Washington/Ankara: Turkey has officially requested the United States government for the extradition of Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who was accused by Ankara of plotting a failed military coup.

This comes after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the possible extradition of Gulen during a telephonic conversation with his US counterpart Barack Obama.

White House Spokesman Josh Earnest informed that materials related to the extradition of the cleric, who lives in self-imposed exile in the US state of Pennsylvania, were submitted to US authorities by the Turkish government in electronic form.

"The Justice Department and other US agencies are now reviewing the documents and will take action in accordance with a decades-long treaty between the two countries with respect to the extradition of criminals," the spokesperson said.

"The President made clear to President Erdogan that the United States doesn't support terrorists and doesn't support individuals who conspired to overthrow a democratically elected government," the spokesperson added.

He said Obama reiterated once again the strong commitment of the United States to the democratically elected civilian government of Turkey and commended the Turkish people's effort in defending the government and repelling the coup last week.

The coup attempt occurred late on Friday night when rogue elements of the Turkish military tried to overthrow the country's democratically elected government. Over 200 people, including members of the security forces and civilians, were killed in Istanbul and Ankara and nearly 1,500 others wounded as they protested against the coup.

Turkey has said the attempted coup was organised by followers of Gulen, who is accused of a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through supporters within the Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary, forming the parallel state.

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