The Washington Post reports: Turkey’s request for U.S. extradition of self-exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen refers only to his alleged activities before last month’s failed coup attempt, for which the Turks have not yet provided any evidence of his involvement, a senior administration official said.
“It’s actually tied to allegations of certain alleged criminal activities that pre-date the coup,” the official said of the request now being examined by the Justice Department. “At this point, Turkish authorities have not put forward a formal extradition request based on evidence that he was involved in the coup” attempt.
Turkey has blamed Gulen’s followers for orchestrating the attempted toppling of the government, and has arrested tens of thousands of alleged sympathizers in purges of the military, the judiciary and the media, even as it has closed down hundreds of schools and business enterprises operated by alleged Gulen backers. Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania, is a permanent U.S. resident. [Continue reading…]