Turkey Sends Dossier to U.S. on Gulen, the Cleric Erdogan Blames for Failed Coup

Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic cleric living in self-imposed exile in the U.S. since the 1990s, denies any involvement in the failed bid to topple Erdogan's government.

Ercan Gurses
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Turkish President Erdogan, left, and Turkish Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, right.
Turkish President Erdogan, left, and Turkish Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, right.Credit: Zaman Daily and Selahattin Sevi, AFP
Ercan Gurses

REUTERS - Turkey's Justice Ministry sent a dossier to the United States after repeated calls by President Tayyip Erdogan for the extradition of Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, whom he blames for a failed coup attempt, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Tuesday.

Speaking to members of his party in parliament, Yildirim did not say whether the dossier amounted to an official extradition request for Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since the late 1990s.

Yildirim also said on Tuesday that Turkey would remove Gulen's movement "by its roots" so it can never betray the Turkish people again. He vowed to furnish U.S. authorities with evidence of his wrongdoing.

President Tayyip Erdogan and the government blame Gulen for orchestrating an attempted military coup on Friday in which more than 200 people were killed, and have called in speeches for the cleric's extradition from the United States.

Yildirim accused the United States, which has said it will only consider an extradition request if clear evidence is provided, of double standards in its fight against terrorism. He said Friday's coup bid was unprecedented in Turkey's history of military interventions because civilians were targeted.

Gulen has denied accusations he played a role in the attempted coup in Turkey and said he condemned "in the strongest terms" the attempt to topple the government.

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