Outlaw Gülen, extradite Gülenists, Turkey says to UK

Ahead of his meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Turkish PM Binali Yıldırım has fugitive Turkish businessmen and activists on the agenda, The Guardian reported.

The Turkish government accuses followers of U.S.-based Islamic cleric, Fethullah Gülen, of involvement in a failed July 2016 coup.

Özlem Zengin, a former MP from ruling AKP and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s adviser, was quoted by The Guardian as calling for any organisations associated with Gülen to be outlawed as a “terrorist organisation” in the UK, noting that Turkey has already made extradition requests for some businessmen in the UK.

Speaking at a meeting organised by the Democratic Progress Institute, a London-based think tank, Zengin was quoted as saying 60,000 followers of Gülen are accused with being involved in the conspiracy:

All these people were under the control of the leadership. We call it the Fethullah Terrorist Organisation (Feto). It’s not an ordinary organisation... They may have a 100-year plan for the UK. Today they are a problem for us, but tomorrow they may be a problem for you. In my personal view, it is more dangerous than the [outlawed Kurdish armed group] PKK. They directly target kids and brainwash people. It’s like a cult.

Gülen and many of his close associates have denied any involvement in the coup, The Guardian wrote, and they accused Erdoğan of staging the coup attempt for his political advantage.

The foreign affairs committee at British Parliament have condemned the Turkish president for exploiting the failed coup to silence his critics in Turkey, The Guardian wrote.

A Gülen supporter in the UK was quoted by The Guardian as saying they have not received an extradition notice, but are “expecting them,” noting that Gülen supporters in Malaysia and Pakistan were abducted and brought to Turkey.