Turkey sends dossiers to US 'linking Gulen to coup'

Turkey sends dossiers to US 'linking Gulen to coup'
2 min read
19 July, 2016
Turkey has requested the extradition of US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara accused of being behind Friday's coup.

Ankara has sent four files to the US in a bid to have a preacher allegedly linked to Friday's attempted coup extradited back to Turkey.

The move adds pressure on Washington to hand over US-based Fethullah Gulen - the cleric accused of masterminding a plot to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government.

"We have sent four dossiers to the United States for the extradition of the terrorist chief. We will present them with more evidence than they want," Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told parliament.

Gulen has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999 and has denied any involvement in the putsch. But he is widely viewed as the president's enemy number one and has many followers in Turkey.

Yildirim called on the US to "give up protecting that traitor" during a speech to his ruling Justice and Development Party [AKP].

"We have no hesitation about the origin [of the coup]. It is crystal clear," he told MPs.

"We know who staged and who ran it", he said, accusing Gulen of running a "parallel terrorist organisation" in Turkey.

Yildirim began his address by commemorating "democracy martyrs" and described parliament as a "veteran" after the building was extensively damaged by several airstrikes on the night of the coup.

"July 15 has shown the power of tanks were defeated by the power of people. This nation takes its strength from people, not from tanks.

"This parliament has seen plenty of coups but none of the coups have dropped bombs on parliament," he said.

"None of the coups have directed guns at their people, none of the coups have bombed their people."

His speech was interrupted by applause while party supporters waved Turkish flags in parliament.