Türkiye reiterates its call on US to extradite FETO terror leader

Türkiye reiterates its call on US to extradite FETO terror leader

Failure to extradite Fetullah Gulen is seen as a political decision and is considered an 'unlawful stance,' says Türkiye's justice minister

By Kemal Karadag

ANKARA (AA) - Türkiye on Thursday reiterated its call on the US to extradite the head of the Fetullah Terror Organization (FETO) as it prepares to mark the seventh anniversary of the July 15, 2016 defeated coup attempt.

All the necessary evidence regarding Fetullah Gulen has been submitted to the US, and there are no legal impediments to his extradition. Ankara's expectation from Washington is a swift extradition of Gulen to face justice in Türkiye, Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc told Anadolu.

The failure to extradite Gulen is seen as "a political decision and is considered an unlawful stance," Yilmaz said.

In light of this, Türkiye expects the extradition of not only Gulen but also other members of FETO whom Türkiye has requested to be extradited as terrorists.

The extradition process for FETO members who fled abroad before and after the coup attempt is still ongoing. The extradition requests have been made to various nations, and Türkiye is awaiting their responses, he said.

So far, extradition requests for 1,271 FETO members have been made to 112 countries, including 256 to the US and 483 to European Union member states such as Germany, Greece, Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK, he said.

Two extradition requests have also been accepted from Romania and one from Algeria, he noted.

In total, 126 FETO members have been extradited to Türkiye, with three going through the normal extradition process and the remaining 123 being deported. Their trials continue in Türkiye, he added.

On the role of the judiciary and judicial process during and after the defeated coup bid, he said the judiciary played a "crucial and successful" role in preventing the coup attempt and in the trials related to it.

The judiciary demonstrated its commitment to defending the country’s laws, human rights and democracy, launching investigations, issuing arrest warrants and ultimately prosecuting the coup plotters, he said.

A total of 15,539 prisoners are currently incarcerated at correctional facilities as FETO members, he said, adding in 289 cases related to the coup attempt, 1,634 members of the terrorist organization have been sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment.

Life sentences have been handed down to 1,366 individuals, and 1,891 individuals have received fixed-term prison sentences, he said.

Overall, there are 4,891 FETO terrorist organization members convicted in cases related to the coup attempt. Additionally, 2,870 individuals have been acquitted, and 964 cases resulted in a decision of no punishment, he added.

FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup attempt of July 15, 2016, in which 251 people were killed and 2,734 injured.

Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

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