Turkey’s strategic importance cannot be overestimated. However, Erdogan’s personal friendship with Trump alone cannot resolve the difficulties. Even if Trump may be willing to find a way to extradite Gulen or find another country to accept him in order to placate a NATO partner for geopolitical reasons, he must not. The damage to the rule of law would outweigh any benefit Trump hopes to gain from such an action.
Rudolph W. Giuliani privately urged President Trump in 2017 to extradite a Turkish cleric living in exile in the United States, a top priority of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to multiple former administration officials familiar with the discussions.
Gülen : I don’t worry about Turkey’s extradition request. I live my last days anyway and it doesn’t matter if I die here, in Turkey, or somewhere else. Never have I had anything to pursue other than doing everything in my power to succeed in the next world and to receive the contentment of the Almighty.
Extraditing dissident Islamist cleric Fethullah Gulen to Turkey would be a betrayal of American values and should be permanently off the table. President Trump says that handing over Gulen to Turkey is not under consideration “at this point.” But that’s not good enough.
For two years, Christians have prayed for the release of the Rev. Andrew Brunson, an American held in prison in Turkey. His recent release by a Turkish Court was a source of joy for America. But if it leads to the murder of the most anti-terrorist Muslim cleric who is living in America, as part of some sick “trade, …
Erdoğan played the failed coup rather like Adolf Hitler used the Reichstag fire: as a fortuitous opportunity to crush critics as well as enemies. Indeed, there were suggestions that the Erdoğan government was aware of the plot but chose to allow plotters to proceed in hopes of reaping political gain.
Is Gulen one of the good guys or the bad guys? I have no idea, but that’s seriously not the point here. The cleric has been granted permanent resident alien status and now resides in Pennsylvania. As such, he’s “our problem” now and is entitled to a fair shake. …any plan to ship Gulen to Turkey would be a national disgrace.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating an alleged plan involving former White House national security adviser Mike Flynn to forcibly remove a Muslim cleric living in the U.S. and deliver him to Turkey in return for millions of dollars, according to people familiar with the investigation.
“President Erdogan’s suggestion that the U.S. should make a hostage-style prisoner swap for an innocent American imprisoned in Turkey is appalling and will not be taken seriously,” Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) said. Brunson’s is not the first case that has resulted in a Western country accusing Erdogan of hostage diplomacy.
The exiled cleric accused by Turkey of orchestrating last year’s attempted coup charged President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with seeking to silence critics, as the Turkish leader prepared to push for the preacher’s extradition in a White House meeting with Donald Trump.
Mr Gulen denies any role in the failed coup in July, and US officials have privately said the evidence provided by Turkey has been inadequate, while voluminous. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim recently described the delay as a joke on Turkey.