US under Trump still highly unlikely to extradite Gülen

Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.
Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.


Date posted: January 27, 2017

Nick Ashdown

There’s both hope and trepidation in Ankara about the Trump Administration as relations between Turkey and the United States have reached a dangerously low point.

“A bit [of a crisis] would be an underestimation,” says Kemal Kirişci, director of the Turkey Project at the Brookings Institution, describing the current state of relations.

The deterioration is mostly due to two issues. The first is American support for the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Syrian Kurdish militant group and offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.


Ömer Taşpınar, professor at the National War College and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution says extradition remains unlikely because Ankara has presented no concrete evidence directly implicating him in the coup attempt. “I think what [Washington] should do is to basically tell the Turks they need a smoking gun. They need much clearer evidence, which is not there yet,” he says.


The second issue is Washington’s perceived sheltering of Fethullah Gülen, an American resident and leader of a global Islamic movement who Ankara accuses of having organized the failed military coup last summer.

Officials in Ankara are particularly optimistic that the Trump Administration will take legal action against Gülen. Trump’s National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, whose consulting firm allegedly received money from a company close to the Turkish government, has recommended that Washington extradites Gülen.

“On the Gülen issue, there’s an expectation that a Trump Administration would be more amenable to meet Turkey’s demands,” Ülgen says. “The expectation is that the US will at least initiate the judicial review so that we can claim a formal procedure for the extradition of Gülen has started.”

But Ömer Taşpınar, professor at the National War College and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution says extradition remains unlikely because Ankara has presented no concrete evidence directly implicating him in the coup attempt.

“Absent a trail of evidence, it would be very difficult for a court to extradite him,” Taşpınar says. “I think what [Washington] should do is to basically tell the Turks they need a smoking gun. They need much clearer evidence, which is not there yet.”

Furthermore, Turkey is facing serious accusations from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch of torture and other major human rights abuses during the post-failed coup purges, which makes Gülen’s extradition even less likely.

“Turkey right now is not projecting the image of a country to where you can extradite someone,” Kirişci says.

There’s also worry that the Trump Administration may be less concerned with human rights violations in Turkey and elsewhere than previous administrations.

Taşpınar says the Trump Administration should be very worried over Turkey’s re-alignment away from its Western partners towards Russia and Eurasia.

“I used to think Turkey was bluffing on the Russian thing and that it’s basically trying to gain leverage with the West by flirting with Russia, but I think it’s more than flirting now. It’s bordering on realignment of strategic priorities, mainly because of the Kurdish question.”

Taşpınar says the most important issue facing Turkey is the Kurdish conflict, and that Washington needs to focus on this.

“There should be a US strategy prioritizing stronger military and diplomatic engagement with Turkey, but this should be conditional on improvement of Turkey’s relations with the Kurds, [and] on a peace process with the PKK,” he says.

“It’s certainly in the US interest that Turkey does so.”

Taşpınar says both Turkey and the US will likely remain firmly committed to NATO, and that Trump’s statements calling the alliance obsolete should be taken with a grain of salt.

Source: The Media Line , January 26, 2017


Related News

Turkish intelligence staged a rocket attack on Erdoğan’s palace to rally public support

Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) appears to have staged a rocket attack on the palace of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan three days after a failed coup in order to bolster the perception that the threat of a putschist attempt was still alive and to rally public support for the government.

Bediüzzaman on the Armenian issue

Question: Armenians are dhimmis. How can dhimmis be equal to Muslims? Answer: Let us not see ourselves in a magnifying mirror. We are to be blamed on this issue. We could not protect them as well as we should have; we failed to demonstrate the justice of Sharia. Because of the wrong practices of autocratic regime, we failed to protect their rights within the Sharia framework…

Democracy tree grows in Abant as Turks and Kurds bond

ABDULLAH BOZKURT It was in 2000 that liberal and conservative intellectuals in Turkey came together for the first time to address difficult questions in a highly civilized and respectable manner. To mark the occasion, they planted a pine tree in the backyard of the famous Abant Palace resort hotel near the northwestern city of Bolu. […]

Recruiting based on ‘color lists’ breach of Constitution

As well as sympathizers of the Hizmet movement, inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, and of the CHP, Kurds and those who took part in the Gezi Park demonstrations are also placed on the “red list,” which means that the candidate should not be employed, according to the report.

Turkish daily Taraf accused of ‘spying’ and ‘terror acts’ for publishing state document

Daily Taraf, which published a document from a 2004 National Security Council (MGK) meeting about a state action plan against the activities of Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen’s movement, has been charged with “spying” and “terrorism,” in an investigation launched by the Istanbul Public Prosecutor.

Rumi Peace and Dialogue Awards given in Washington

The Rumi Forum, a nongovernmental organization established in the United States to improve interfaith and intercultural dialogue, gave its traditional Rumi Peace and Dialogue Awards in a ceremony held in Washington on Wednesday. Farah Pandith, US Special Representative to Muslim Communities, Hannah Rosenthal, the US special envoy on anti-Semitism, and Martin O’Malley, the governor of […]

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 Hizmet Community

Iftar Dinner at Manhattan’s Riverside Church

Hüseyin Gülerce: I have to respond to Mr. Barlas

Plan to finish off the Hizmet movement

Brookings: Takvim’s news on Hizmet movement incorrect, totally ignorant

21 NGO’s Address President to Grant Refugee Status to Mustafa Emre Çabuk in Georgia

CHP applies to Constitutional Court for annulment of dershane law

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News