Turkey’s Gulen Demand – The U.S. shouldn’t extradite the exiled Turk without better evidence


Date posted: July 28, 2016

WSJ REVIEW & OUTLOOK

Turkey is demanding that the U.S. extradite Fethullah Gulen, the Pennsylvania-based Islamic leader whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating this month’s failed military coup. “The evidence is crystal clear,” Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told the Journal Tuesday, adding that Washington’s request for evidence of Mr. Gulen’s guilt is superfluous “when 265 people have been killed.” If that’s Mr. Yildirim’s standard of proof, Washington should deny the request.

The Turkish government has wasted no time pursuing its enemies since the July 15 coup. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered a three-month state of emergency and dismissed tens of thousands of civil servants, including some 3,000 judges. Thousands more have been detained and held in brutal circumstances. Academics are banned from leaving the country. Forty-five newspapers and 16 television stations have been shuttered. A campaign launched in the name of restoring democracy increasingly looks like an effort to impose dictatorship.

The government accuses Mr. Gulen of operating a parallel state apparatus from his home in the Pocono Mountains, where he has lived since the late 1990s. Mr. Gulen’s Hizmet, or “Service,” movement has made no secret of placing its supporters and students in influential positions, and many Turks—including those politically opposed to Mr. Erdogan—believe at least some Gulenists were involved in the coup. Mr. Gulen, who preaches a moderate form of Islam, adamantly denies the charges.

Often forgotten in this feud is that Messrs. Gulen and Erdogan are erstwhile political allies who worked together during Mr. Erdogan’s earlier years in office to undermine the old secular order. Their methods were often unseemly and illiberal, including mass trials for military officers and others accused of dubious conspiracy charges against the government.

The pair fell out in recent years in a personal rivalry that recalls Joseph Stalin’s feud with Leon Trotsky. In 2013 Mr. Erdogan accused Gulenists in the Turkish judiciary of trying to undermine his rule with criminal investigations into the allegedly corrupt dealings of senior members of Mr. Erdogan’s inner circle and their families. Mr. Erdogan quashed the investigation and purged thousands of prosecutors, judges and police thought to be sympathetic to the probe.

All of this may explain Mr. Erdogan’s animus, but it doesn’t prove Mr. Gulen’s guilt. Motivation alone does not establish culpability. Cultivating followers is not a crime. Ankara claims that one of the putschist officers who detained Chief of the General Staff Hulusi Akar during the coup offered to put him in touch with Mr. Gulen, and Gen. Akar has filed an affidavit to that effect. But he isn’t exactly a disinterested party.

The government also cites testimony from Lt. Col. Levent Turkkan, an aide to Gen. Akar, who has allegedly confessed to carrying out the coup under the direction of the Gulen network. But postcoup photographs of Col. Turkkan show him with scars on his body and across his face, and with purple eye sockets. The possibility that his confession was coerced can’t be ruled out.

None of this seems to have convinced the Obama Administration, with Secretary of State John Kerry reminding his counterpart that “we need to see genuine evidence” and that “we have a very strict set of requirements that have to be met for an extradition to take place.”

That’s the right note to strike, especially toward a government that seems to have trouble distinguishing fact from fantasy, much less recognizing the rule of law. Turkish media are now circulating allegations that American Gen. John Campbell, the retired commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, was the coup’s other mastermind. Perhaps the Zionists and Freemasons were in on it, too.

Ankara has now taken to issuing veiled warnings that failing to extradite Mr. Gulen would damage U.S.-Turkish relations. Immediately at stake is the air base at Incirlik, a major platform for U.S. operations against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. But the U.S. has other basing options in the region, and a compelling interest not to submit to the bullying of an angry autocrat. Mr. Gulen may be no saint, but until Ankara offers convincing proof of his guilt he has every right to remain in his American home.

Source: Wall Street Journal , July 27, 2016


Related News

An unshakable spiritual unity, unique to Hizmet Movement volunteers

Hizmet (Gulen Movement) was discussed by Turkish and American academics at a panel titled “Hizmet: A Transnational Social Movement with Participants in Turkey, the US, and around the World” at Georgetown University. The panel co-sponsored by Rumi Forum was moderated by Prof. John O.Vall, Georgetown University professor of Islamic History. Among the highlights, Prof. Thomas […]

Gulen movement’s three pillars

The book of Mehmet Gundem “The Necessary Man” which is about the life of Turkish Jew Ishak Alaton has interesting details. According to Alaton, the accomplishment of the Gulen movement is based on three pillars: Gulen went beyond ordinary First, Mr. Gulen thinks outside the box. He broke taboos in Turkey and he brought together […]

‘Young Turks’ Of Bridge Building

Cross-cultural program between Jewish and Turkish Muslim teens flourishes in south Brooklyn as Israel, Turkey eye calm. The Young Peace Builders, which was launched three years ago by the Kings Bay Y, a Jewish community center, and the Amity School, a private K-12 school that admits students from all ethnic and religious backgrounds, serves a primarily Turkish-Muslim student body.

With Husband Already In Jail, Woman Along With Two Children Detained In Post-Coup Witch Hunt

Nearly seven months after former public worker B.K. was arrested, his wife and two children were also detained as part of a government witch hunt against the Gülen movement. She is also diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Erdoğan’s overarching purge is not a road accident

The purge of the Hizmet Movement is what the Kurdish question was to Kemalism, a necessary tool with which to construct a new national identity, a tool to silence those who question it, and to design a social and political system that will foster it. Unfortunately, Turkey has no chance of going back, even to its fragile and dysfunctional democracy, without this narrative being completely rejected.

Policeman who fought against putchists arrested while getting treatment at hospital

Ekrem Türk, a 34-year old police officer who fought to prevent the advance of army tanks in Turkish capital on the day of failed coup bid of July 15, 2016 was rounded up while he was getting treatment at a private hospital in Ankara.

Latest News

This notable Pocono resident has been living here in exile since 1999

Logistics companies seized over Gülen links sold in fast-track auction

That is Why the Turkish Government could Pay 1 Billion Euros

ECtHR rules Bulgaria violated rights of Turkish journalist who was deported despite seeking asylum

Fethullah Gülen’s Message of Condolences in the Wake of the Western European Floods

Pregnant woman kept in prison for 4 months over Gülen links despite regulations

Normalization of Abduction, Torture, and Death in Erdogan’s Turkey

Turkey’s Maarif Foundation illegally seized German-run school in Ethiopia, says manager

Failed 2016 coup was gov’t plot to purge Gülenists from state bodies, journalist claims

In Case You Missed It

Erdoğan isolates himself in power

‘Even deeper than 9/11’

Kimse Yok Mu holds iftar dinner for Thai Muslims

Kosovo’s Parliament To Probe Deportation Of Six Turks

Turkish police detain al-Qaeda suspects

Likely case against Hizmet will bolster authoritarian character of Erdoğan gov’t

Turkey’s once-worldly aims falter, even close allies concerned

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News