Neither U.S., nor Erdoğan want Gülen’s extradition - opposition presidential candidate

Main opposition Republic People’s Party (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnce on Friday, reiterated that the Turkish Republic has failed to send a proper extradition request to the United States for Fethullah Gülen, the Islamist cleric accused of plotting the failed July 2016 coup attempt, and said that the U.S. does not wish to hand Gülen over, Sputnik news reported.

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) allege that Gülen is the head of a terrorist organisation that seeks to overthrow the Turkish government, and has repeatedly announced its delivery of extradition requests to U.S. authorities.

İnce, while visiting İstanbul’s Bar Association, answered questions from journalists regarding the extradition of Gülen, who lives in self-exile in a huge compound in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and whose extradition has become a main point of contention between Turkey and its NATO allies in the United States.

‘’Erdoğan knows very well that a proper request for the extradition of Gülen was never made,’’ Sputnik quoted İnce as saying.

‘’The United States does not wish to hand Gülen over and the Recep Tayyip Erdoğan does not wish to receive him.’’

İnce noted that upcoming June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections would not be fair as Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader and President Erdoğan is utilizing state resources in the race and spoke to why Erdoğan does not wish for the extradition of Gülen.

’’When extradited, Fethullah Gülen will explain how they [with the AKP] established universities together; how they formed Bank Asya; how the AKP appointed as governors the people of his choice,’’ İnce said, alleging that Gülen’s return would expose their betrayal of Turkey together.

The AKP and Gülenists parted ways in 2013 after prosecutors accused members of Erdoğan’s inner circle of corruption.

Erdoğan has said Turkey would reject all extradition requests from the United States until Gülen is handed over, and even went as far as suggesting that the fate of U.S. evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson, who is being held on terror charges in Turkey, is linked to Gülen’s extradition.