Turkey continues to loudly protest the Obama Administration’s refusal to immediately and unquestioningly accept their extradition request for exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, but indications from US officials are that it’s not even a question right now, as the Turkish requests included literally zero evidence.
Despite their demands accusing Gulen pointedly of being behind the failed July coup, Turkey’s extradition request offered no evidence to that effect, and simply centered around allegations of involvement in criminal activities before the coup attempt even happened.
With President Erdogan warning the US has to decide between Gulen and them, the Justice Department has agreed to send its own team to Turkey to conduct its own probe into the allegations and try to find some evidence.
That the US is willing to send its own investigators at all to do Turkey’s job in the extradition request suggests the administration is strongly interested in placating Turkey. That Turkey offered no evidence, however, suggests there may be none to give, and that there is no real evidence to find.
Gulen denied any involvement in the coup from the start, and Turkish officials have just insisted it was “obvious” that it was him because the Erdogan government has viewed him as an enemy for years. The US may quickly find itself in an awkward position if their investigation can’t undercover at least some pretext to back the Turkish allegations.