EU anti-terror chief: Gülen network not terrorist organization

European counter-terrorism coordinator Gilles de Kerchove | Julien Warnard/EPA
European counter-terrorism coordinator Gilles de Kerchove | Julien Warnard/EPA


Date posted: November 30, 2017

GINGER HERVEY

The EU doesn’t believe Fethullah Gülen’s network is a terrorist organization and is not “likely to change its position soon,” the bloc’s counter-terrorism coordinator told Reuters in an interview published Thursday.

Gilles de Kerchove said the EU would need “substantive” evidence to change its mind on the network of the cleric Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan blames for masterminding a coup against his government last year.

Around 50,000 people have been detained and 150,000 suspended in Turkey because they are alleged to be linked to Gülen’s network, with the EU as well as countries including Germany and the U.S. raising concerns about the mass arrests.

Kerchove said that before someone is arrested, “concrete substantive data which shows that they were involved” must be obtained.

Gülen, who denies being behind the failed coup, has been based in the United States since 1999. Turkey has unsuccessfully fought for his extradition since the attempt to depose Erdoğan, but the U.S. has refused, saying it needs more evidence. Turkey has also sought to extradite others with alleged links to the cleric from EU countries.

“The decision on extradition is in the hands of all member states, and most of the time the judiciary, the independent judiciary, and they need hard evidence,” Kerchove said.

Source: Politico , November 30, 2017


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