Turkey: US Risks Sacrificing Ties Over Gulen Extradition
Since a failed military coup last month, US relations with Turkey have been worsening consistently, with the Erdogan government harshly criticizing the Obama Administration at every chance, variously accusing the US of not being supportive enough and at times accusing the US of being secretly behind the coup.
The State Department appears to be growing weary of this, and has warned the Turkish government to back off the various threats and accusations against the United States surrounding the coup, saying they find Turkey’s “inflammatory rhetoric” a serious problem.
Turkish officials don’t appear to be keen on backing away from the allegations, with pro-government newspapers accusing the US-based Woodrow Wilson Center of being in on the coup, and the Justice Ministry issuing a statement warning that the US is risking bilateral relations by not handing over exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Along with the Woodrow Wilson Center and US generals, Turkish officials have also accused Gulen of being behind the coup, and have demanded his immediate extradition. They’ve dispatched requests for extradition, but little to no evidence of Gulen’s involvement.
And that’s become a huge issue, as the US appears unwilling to extradite Gulen outside of the traditional extradition hearing avenue, and Turkish officials have acted baffled at this, insisting that their status as a US ally means the White House ought to take their word for it and hand over Gulen, and whoever else, no question asked.
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