Gulen extradition 'greatest US solidarity display'

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus says best sign of US solidarity is to extradite Fetullah Gulen

Gulen extradition 'greatest US solidarity display'

World Bulletin / News Desk

U.S. extraditing Pennsylvania-based preacher, Fetullah Gulen, to Turkey over his alleged involvement in Friday’s deadly coup attempt would be the "greatest sign of solidarity", Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters at Cankaya Palace in Ankara on Tuesday, Kurtulmus was asked whether the Turkish government is considering any strategic help from the U.S. after the coup attempt.

Kurtulmus responded that "sending Fetullah Gulen to Turkey would be the number one solidarity display".

There are currently 9,322 suspects linked to the failed coup attempt on late Friday and all of them are going through legal procedures, Kurtulmus said.

"I must add that 80 of those who were under legal procedures have been released," he said. "The number of detainments may be rising as we speak."

Kurtulmus was also asked about reports on calls for reinstating the death penalty following the coup attempt and how this could affect EU relations.

"The heaviest possible punishments will be given to those people who have links with the coup attempt. We cannot ignore [the] people's demands," Kurtulmus said.

"If the death penalty issue is decided to be considered in the parliament, then the four political party [AK Party, CHP, MHP and HDP] will look into it," he added.

Kurtulmus said there is "no proof" that any country, including the U.S., was involved in Friday’s failed coup attempt, which occurred late on July 15 when rogue elements of the Turkish military tried to overthrow the country's democratically elected government.

At least 208 people, including members of the security forces and civilians, were martyred in Istanbul and Ankara and nearly 1,500 others wounded as they protested against the coup.

The government has said the attempted coup was organized by followers of U.S.-based preacher Fetullah Gulen, who is accused of a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through supporters within Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary, forming the so-called parallel state.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Temmuz 2016, 16:38