Turkish Justice Ministry officially asked the US to arrest cleric Fethullah Gulen for ordering coup attempt on July 15, Hurriyet News reported Tuesday.
Ankara accuses Gulen of giving the order for the failed coup attempt and commanding it, a charge he denies.
Turkish President Recep Erdogan told media that Turkey is disappointed that Gulen is still at large in the US, who should be detained according to extradition treaty.
“According to the 1981 extradition treaty with U.S., we expect Gulen to be detained, however he still roams freely,” Erdogan said during a joint press conference with visiting US Vice President Joe Biden on Aug. 24 in Ankara.
Turkey has repeatedly demanded Gulen’s extradition following the attempted coup, with US officials insisting that they can only extradite him if Turkey presents proof regarding his direct involvement in the coup
Early in September, a delegation from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) went to Washington to discuss the extradition.
Turkish Justice Ministry had already sent dossiers to the US Justice Department which it said contained evidence of Gulen’s involvement in the coup attempt.
At the wake of the coup, Turkey’s authorities detained the “right hand” of Gulen.
Gulen’s key aide Halis Hanci arrived to Turkey two days before the attempted coup, according to the official who described him as Gulen’s right-hand man.
Muhammet Sait Gulen, Fettulah Gulen’s nephew, was arrested on the orders of the chief prosecutor of Ankara.
He is the first of Gulen’s close relatives to be detained in the current crackdown, though other members of the Pennsylvania-based preacher’s family have been placed in custody.
Similar information has been reported by the Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency, which said that those who took the Chief of the General Staff hostage during the attempted coup demanded that he speak with Gulen.
Several institutions linked to Gulen had been shut down.
In the meantime, Gulen himself has repeatedly denied any links to the coup, and has condemned it.
He also claimed that his supporters are being framed in what he says may have been a provocation false-flag staged by Erdogan himself.(Xinhua/NAN)