US Unlikely to ‘Speed Up’ Gulen’s Extradition to Turkey


Date posted: September 13, 2016

Cecily Hilleary

Turkey has formally requested that the U.S. government extradite Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen from the state of Pennsylvania where he has lived in self-imposed exile for 17 years. Ankara has accused Gulen and his followers — known as the Hizmet movement — of orchestrating a failed July 15 coup attempt that left more than 270 dead and thousands wounded. Gulen denies any role in the coup attempt.

Analysts say that if Turkey wants to prosecute Gulen, extradition is the only legal option. But the process involves far more than simply arresting an individual and loading him onto a plane. It could, in fact, take years.

Washington and Ankara cemented the Treaty on Extradition and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters in 1980, agreeing to “surrender to each other” individuals who have committed crimes punishable by at least a year in prison. In straightforward language, it sets out a series of conditions under which extradition may be approved or denied, and lays out the terms of the legal process involved.

The extradition process is lengthy and complex, involving multiple federal and local legal authorities. In the first step, the State Department (DOS) reviews the extradition request to ensure that it complies with the treaty, and then refers the request to the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ), which will determine whether Turkey has provided enough legal evidence to make a criminal case against Gulen.

In August, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he had shipped seven dozen boxes of evidence demonstrating how Gulen and his followers have, over the past 20 years, worked to incriminate their political enemies and undermine the Turkish government.

The U.S would be making a grave mistake without empirical & substantial evidence to support Erdogan’s claims https://twitter.com/hdner/status/770145073782779904 

Justice lawyers are now sorting through those files, a process that could take many months, to make sure the evidence meets requirements of both the treaty and U.S. law. If satisfied that the evidence meets both treaty and U.S. law, they will forward the matter to the office of the U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, who would seek an arrest warrant through a U.S. judge in the same district.

If the judge agrees to issue a warrant, law enforcement officers would arrest Gulen and bring him before the judge. If the judge believes Turkey has presented its case, he would issue an extradition order for the Secretary of State to consider. While Gulen would not be able to appeal the decision, his lawyers would have a means to challenge it.

The State Department would have final say in the matter. Sticking points would include concerns, for example, over whether Turkey would treat Gulen humanely or give him a fair trial. The U.S. would examine Turkey’s rights record on torture, for example, and has the right to set conditions for Gulen’s surrender.

If the secretary of state decides to extradite, the DOS would communicate with Ankara to determine the date, time and place for Gulen’s handover.

Turkey is pushing for quick extradition, suggesting that U.S.-Turkish relations are at stake. But the burden of proof rests squarely on Ankara, and if it cannot sufficiently prove its accusations against Gulen, the extradition request will be refused.

Source: Voice of America , September 13, 2016


Related News

Foreign journalists baffled by gov’t decision to shut down prep schools

SEVGİ AKARÇEŞME, İSTANBUL Representatives of foreign media outlets in İstanbul had a difficult time on Tuesday understanding the rationale behind the government’s decision to close private prep schools across Turkey. The Journalists’ and Writers Foundation’s (GYV) Medialog Platform’s 26th meeting of the “Covering Turkey” seminar series held in İstanbul on Tuesday addressed a highly debated […]

School officials to sue the Turkish ambassador for defamation

In response to statements made by the Turkish ambassador to Cambodia on Monday, officials from the Zaman International School (ZIS) yesterday denied any links with terrorist organizations, saying the ambassador’s claims were unfounded and lacked evidence.

The Persecution of the Hizmet (Gülen) Movement in Turkey: A Chronicle

Since the outbreak of the corruption scandal in Turkey in December 2013, Prime Minister and then President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government have been particularly targeting the Hizmet (Gülen) movement.

Fethullah Gulen’s poetry in songs calls for Peace

A new song album of Fethullah Gulen’s English-translated poems has been released. The album titled “Rise up-Colors of Peace,” featuring poems by Gulen composed into songs, has been released jointly by Nil Production and Universal Music after two years of recording. According to Kaynak Publishing press release, 12 poems out of 50 that were previously translated […]

Turkish court orders 81-year-old man to stay behind bars on coup charges

A Turkish court has ruled for a continuation of the arrest of an 81-year-old Turkish man with walking and speaking difficulties, several Turkish media outlets reported.

As Turks flee oppression, Ottawa urged to speak out on human rights issues

Asylum seekers are still fleeing Turkey for Canada and other western countries, Kaplan said. “There’s at least 14 families (in my neighbourhood in Ottawa). I mean ladies (with kids). All their husbands have been arrested (in Turkey,)” he said. The women are not comfortable speaking out publicly for fear it could imperil their husbands behind bars in Turkey, he added.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

The end of ‘unshakable’ AKP myth

Moved by Syrian refugees’ woes, U.S. mayors initiate blanket drive

Parents seek TL 40,000 in damages for violation of students’ educational rights

“Time to Help” launched in England

Pacifica Institute Utah hosts ‘Love is a Verb’ screening for interfaith season

Turkish Human Rights Violations Put Under Microscope

Fethullah Gulen: A farm boy on the world stage

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News