Repeatedly demanded by Turkey for a solid month, the US has finally confirmed a “formal” request for the extradition of exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, but they say the request had nothing to do with Turkey’s month of repeated claims he was the ringleader in the failed July military coup.
That doesn’t clarify things a lot, since Gulen has been blamed for materially everything that’s gone wrong in Turkey since he split with the ruling party, and State Department statements didn’t shed any additional insight, saying only that “it’s obviously related to other reasons for which they want him extradited for.”
Previous indications were that Turkey sent a substantial series of documents in seeking Gulen, but that it had included no evidence of his involvement in the coup. Despite this, Turkish officials have repeatedly and publicly insisted they wanted him extradited because of the coup.
The US Justice Department sent agents to Turkey earlier this week to gather their own evidence related to the potential extradition of Gulen. This has led to the assumption that the US extradition would be largely based on what they are able to dig up on Gulen, and not Turkey’s own allegations.