Turkey says US bound by 1979 treaty to extradite Gülen

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The U.S. is obliged to extradite Fethullah Gülen to Turkey in line with a 1979 agreement between Washington and Ankara, Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül said on Oct. 19.

Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Gül said the treaty made “probable cause” a sufficient reason to extradite a suspect.

Ankara has been seeking the extradition of Pennsylvania-based Islamic preacher Gülen from the U.S. since the July 2016 coup attempt, which he is accused of masterminding. He has been indicted in several cases relating to the coup attempt, which left 250 people dead.

The U.S. has so far declined to hand over Gülen, saying Turkey has not provided sufficient evidence.

“There have been five separate requisitions from the court and we have sent almost 100 folders of evidence, testimonies and confessions to the U.S.,” Minister Gül said.

The extradition treaty, which was signed in 1979 and came into force two years later, covers offenses in both countries that are punishable by more than a year in prison. This includes “any offense committed or attempted against a head of state or a head of government.”

The treaty adds that the countries “undertake to surrender to each other … all persons who are found within the territory of the requested party and who are being prosecuted for or have been charged with an offense.”

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