Turkey Hopes US to Fulfill Ankara's Request for Extradition of Cleric Gulen

© AP Photo / Chris PostIslamic cleric Fethullah Gulen speaks to members of the media at his compound, Sunday, July 17, 2016, in Saylorsburg, Pa. Turkish officials have blamed a failed coup attempt on Gulen, who denies the accusation.
Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen speaks to members of the media at his compound, Sunday, July 17, 2016, in Saylorsburg, Pa. Turkish officials have blamed a failed coup attempt on Gulen, who denies the accusation. - Sputnik International
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Turkey hopes that the United States will fulfill Ankara's request for the extradition of US-based Turkish opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused by Ankara of being the mastermind behind a recent military coup, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.

ROME (Sputnik) — On July 15, the Turkish authorities said that an attempted coup was taking place in the country. Over 13,000 people have been detained in connection with the coup, while about 250 people died during the coup attempt. The Turkish government said that Gulen who, Ankara believes, is seeking to overthrow the current government was allegedly linked to the coup attempt. Gulen is currently living in the US city of Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.

FILE – In this March 15, 2014 file photo, Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, sits at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, United States. - Sputnik International
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"The rejection [of Washington to extradite Gulen] would make us upset, we are still NATO partners. Of course, our relations with the United States would not end, but would be compromised," Erdogan said in an interview with the Italian RaiNews24 broadcaster.

According to the president, the Turkish authorities have collected the necessary materials for the extradition of Gulen before the coup, which increased after the July 15 developments.

The Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO)/Parallel State Structure (PDY), made up of Gulen's supporters, is designated a terrorist organization by Ankara. In 2014, Turkey opened an investigation into the organization's activity for allegedly seeking to overthrow the government. Gulen faces charges, including treason, which he denies.

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