Turkey to Start Gulen Extradition

World | April 29, 2014, Tuesday // 16:10| Views: 739 | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Turkey to Start Gulen Extradition Fethullah Gulen, the US-based Muslim Cleric who was once close to Turkey's Prime Minister but is now often called "an arch-rival" to the ruling elite. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday Ankara is to launch extradition proceedings against Muslim Cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in the US.

Erdogan made the announcement at a meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), hours after expressing his hope that the US would send Gulen back to Turkey in an interview for the PBS cited by The World Bulletin.

Fethullah Gulen, who has lived in Pennsylvania since 1997, was once an ally to AKP, but after a years-long rift is now being described even as an "arch-rival" seeking backdoor power in Turkey.

The ruling party has accused him of unofficially entering the local election campaign by publishing a series of wiretapped conversation allegedly proving top-level corruption, as part of a conspiracy against the government.

Erdogan and his supporters have even spoken of a "parallel state" maintained by Gulen and followers of the Hizmet ("service") movement which purportedly controls figures in the police and judiciary.

The Prime Minister urges Washington to extradite Gulen weeks after a US official was quoted by Turkey's Daily Sabah newspaper as saying that there is "no reason" for the country to refrain from such step if Ankara makes a request.

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Tags: Erdogan, Gulen, Hizmet, extradition, parallel state, turkey
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