If the executive branch were to interfere too forcefully in the Gülen extradition case now, it would only confirm Turkish leaders’ belief that the U.S. system operates on the same corrupt terms as Turkey’s. This would fundamentally affirm Erdoğan’s view that democracy as a value and a practice is a purely cynical discourse used by Western powers to harm Turkey.
There is a curious reluctance on the part of the Turkish government to carry out an in-depth investigation of the coup, but the blame has been put unequivocally on an erstwhile ally, Fethullah Gülen, a reclusive Turkish imam resident in Pennsylvania, and the cadres of his movement, which enabled Erdogan and the AKP to come to and hold power.
Members of the Saudi royal family are known financiers of madrassas, informal education centers around the world that propagate Wahhabiism, an extremist interpretation of Islam. Will the [pro-Erdogan] New York dormitory function as a madrassa?
There is no longer any doubt that Turkey conducts operations in the United States against Turks and Kurds with whom Erdogan disagrees. That problem will likely get worse as Erdogan digs in his heels and demands the extradition of exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen. While Turkish officials have turned over reams of papers detailing why Turkey believes Gülen is a malign influence, none of the evidence Turkey has provided actually implicates Gülen in the events of July 15.
Gulen has never been charged with a crime in the U.S., and he has consistently denounced terrorism as well as the failed coup in Turkey. One of Gulen’s lawyers, Jason Weinstein, called Flynn’s comments about Gulen “troubling” but said the extradition process is a legal matter in the hands of the Department of Justice.
There is a rule-of-law in the United States and a process which the president simply does not have the power to short-circuit. If Gulen is turned over, however, I suspect relations will get worse because the extradition will convince Erdogan that blackmail and bluster work.
“If Gülen is turned over, however, I suspect relations will get worse because the extradition will convince Erdoğan that blackmail and bluster work,” said Rubin in an interview published in the Vocal Europe magazine on Monday.
An intelligence consulting firm founded by retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s top military adviser, was recently hired as a lobbyist by an obscure Dutch company with ties to Turkey’s government and its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“The extradition process is a serious one, governed by [a] treaty with Turkey that is clear about the steps that need to be taken in such cases. It should not be a political matter,” the lawyers wrote. “The United States has strong democratic institutions, including its judiciary system, where these high-level issues are handled. We expect and are confident that will be the case in the next administration.”
In yet another example of scapegoating the Gülen movement for anything bad in Turkey or in anywhere else in the world, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s chief advisor Yiğit Bulut hinted at connections between FETÖ and the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US.
Even before the coup attempt in July, the judiciary was being essentially taken over by [then] PM Tayyip Erdogan. When the attempted coup occurred in July, within 24 hours there were arrest warrants for almost 3,000 judges. And it’s very clear, and in fact it’s been admitted by the deputy chair of the High Council [of Judges and Prosecutors, the body that selects and assigns judges], that that list of judges had existed for years.
They seemed an utterly normal family and yet were scared to publicly reveal their names. They came from Turkey, where a coup attempt in July led to a government sweep of mass arrests and firings. Targeted with particular suspicion: anyone affiliated with a popular movement known for its schools, good works, pro-Western brand of Islam and perceived elusiveness.
Until this summer, Cetin Gul of Istanbul, Turkey, worked as a videographer for a company that did promotional work for clients that included a charity organization. That charity, Hizmet, is associated with the movement of Fethullah Gulen. After a deadly and unsuccessful coup attempt by some in the Turkish military in July, the government began suppressing organizations associated with him. “Because of the direct association with Hizmet, I was a direct target,” Mr. Gul said.