Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Erdogan: US has no excuse to keep Gulen

ANKARA Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday said he would tell US Vice President Joe Biden that Washington has no excuse for not handing over the Pennsylvania-based cleric blamed for last months failed coup.
Erdogan, who is due to meet with Biden in Ankara later in the day, said Turkey would continue to provide US officials with documents to demand the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999.
Gulen, once an Erdogan ally, denies any involvement in the July 15 coup attempt and has condemned it. But Turkish officials say a network of Gulen supporters for years infiltrated Turkeys military and public offices to create a parallel state.
We will tell him that FETOs leader is in your country, Erdogan said, using an acronym for Gulenist Terror Organization, the name Ankara has given Gulens network. If a country wants a criminal in your country to be extradited, you have no rights to argue with that.
Erdogan said Turkey and Washington were strategic partners and keeping Gulen would not benefit the United States.
Biden, who arrived in Turkey on Wednesday, was guided by Turkish officials around the parliament, which was damaged during the coup attempt. He is also expected to meet with the prime minister.
Rogue troops commandeered tanks, jets and helicopters to attack state institutions in Istanbul and Ankara last month in the failed coup bid that killed 240 people and triggered a massive purge of thousands of suspected Gulen followers in Turkeys armed forces and civil service.
Washington has said it needs clear evidence to extradite Gulen. Its failure to do so and the perception of a slow response to the coup from Western allies has angered Erdogan and chilled relations with Washington and the European Union.
The US State Department has confirmed documents submitted by Ankara constituted a formal extradition request, although not on issues related to the coup.