Turkish minister sees "positive development" but warns US over Gulen

Turkey's Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said Tuesday there had been a "positive development" in interactions with Washington over efforts to have Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen extradited.

"The US must facilitate the unconditional extradition of Fetullah Gulen to Turkey," Bozdag said, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency, while warning that a failure to hand the "terrorist" over could have negative consequences for relations.

The government blames the cleric, once an ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for plotting the failed coup, though Gulen denies the charges.

Turkey has not yet filed a formal extradition request, though it has begun to send over some documents. The US has said it would weigh the merits of formal application through its normal procedures.

The Turkish case has been made more complicated by allegations of torture in prison, whether there could be a fair trial and ongoing discussions about bringing back the death penalty.

Bozdag said that Gulen, who has been living in self-imposed exile in the US since 1999, had stopped being a "useful tool" for the US.

Last update: Tue, 09/08/2016 - 10:40
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