'Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Ankara will not extradite any suspects to the US as long as Washington refuses to hand over Pennsylvania-based opposition figure Fethullah Gulen, whom the Turkish government accuses of having masterminded the mid-July 2016 coup attempt.
“If you're not giving him (Gulen) to us, then excuse us, but from now on whenever you ask us for another terrorist, as long as I am in office, you will not get them,” Erdogan told local administrators at a conference in his presidential palace in the capital Ankara on Thursday.
The Turkish leader further said that Ankara had so far extradited a dozen “terrorists” to US authorities, “but they have not given us back the one we want. They made up excuses from thin air.”
Gulen has strongly rejected any involvement in the botched putsch against Erdogan, but Ankara has labeled his transnational religious and social movement, Gulen Hareketi, as the Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
The Turkish government has so far submitted a total of seven requests to US officials concerning the extradition of the 76-year-old cleric, but all to no avail. Washington argues that it has not yet received any sufficient evidence, required by US courts, to extradite the figure.'
Read more: No further extraditions to US unless Washington hands over Gulen: Erdogan
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