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Iran Press TV

Turkey makes 'formal' request for extradition of Gulen: US

Iran Press TV

Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:4AM

Turkey has formally requested that the United States extraditie Pennsylvania-based opposition figure Fethullah Gulen, whom it accuses of orchestrating last month's failed coup, the US State Department says.

"We can confirm now that Turkey has requested the extradition of Mr. Gulen. But I wouldn't characterize the request as relating to the coup attempt," Mark Toner, a State Department spokesman, told reporters on Tuesday in Washington, DC.

"We have received a formal extradition request, just not one pertaining to the coup attempt," said Toner, who did not elaborate on the dossier submitted by Ankara.

The Turkish government has long accused Gulen and his supporters of running a parallel state. It blamed Gulen for orchestrating the failed coup of July 15 in Turkey, but he denies the allegations.

In July, Ankara asked the US government to extradite Gulen and has so far sent "eighty-five boxes of files" to Washington to prove his involvement.

The US, however, has refused to extradite him, saying it needs evidence of his involvement in the abortive coup.

"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," Secretary of State John Kerry said following Turkey's extradition request.

At least 246 people were killed and more than 2,100 others sustained injuries when an army faction, using hijacked helicopters and tanks, clashed with government troops and people on the streets of Ankara and Istanbul in an attempt to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

After the coup, over 40,000 people were detained in connection with the abortive coup, of whom 20,355 were formally arrested.

A number of 79,900 people were removed from public duty in the military, police, civil service and judiciary.

Several thousand companies and institutions suspected of having financed Gulen were also closed by the government.

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