Turkey has made an official request to U.S. authorities to detain the Turkish Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen for his alleged involvement in the failed coup of the country’s government on July 15.
Earlier in the summer, a faction of the Turkish military attempted to depose President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It was an unsuccessful takeover concluding in 271 people being killed.
Erdogan is pointing blame at his former ally Gulen. In a speech in July he addressed the suspected traitor by saying “those in Pennsylvania” and “the betrayal you have shown to this nation and to this community, that’s enough. If you have the courage, come back to your country. If you can. You will not have the means to turn this country into a mess from where you are.”
Turkey has asked the U.S. to help extract Gulen, so he can stand trial in his homeland. He is the defendant in at least five court cases in Turkey and supposedly faces charges for leading a terrorist organization, orchestrating the coup, and other financial offences.
“The request to U.S. authorities, made public Tuesday, includes an arrest warrant issued by the chief prosecutor in the capital, Ankara,, the Turkish capital, on the charge of masterminding the coup, according to the state news agency, citing an unnamed Turkish official. It is not clear whether the prosecutor has formally charged Mr. Gulen with that crime, as the investigation into how the coup was carried out is ongoing,” writes the Wall Street Journal.
Gulen continues to deny any involvement in the coup and says he is “opposed” to violence. He states that the charges are merely part of a political vendetta against him.
However, the radical Islamist has resided in Pennsylvannia since 1999 and is at the head of the command of 150 charter schools in America. Gulen has spent billions building these Islamic school around the country.
These organizations have been indicted by teachers and students in attendance to heavily promote radical Islamic ideas. Not to mention, almost 20 of these schools are being investigated for either improper visa issues, illegal hiring practices and/or money management.
Erdogan stated that Washington had “no excuse” for keeping hold of him and this is the latest demand by the Turkish government for Gulen’s detainment.
Turkey has fired or suspended over 100,000 soldiers, police and government workers and 40,000 have been detained since the failed coup.
U.S. officials haven’t given into previous arrest warrants from Turkish authorities often citing there isn’t enough evidence.
“We continue to give the closest attention to all filings from the government of Turkey,” said a U.S. Justice Department spokesman.
Author’s note: The truth is that we don’t want him here populating our schools with dangerous ideals, but on the other hand we can’t really succumb to the Turkish pressure to give him back.