The news that Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is residing in the state of Pennsylvania and is blamed by Ankara for organizing the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, could be forcibly deported from the United States has stirred up controversy.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Turkish embassy in the United States has refuted reports on the attempts by Ankara to illegally achieve the extradition of the exiled cleric, calling them “arrant nonsense, ludicrous and groundless facts.”
However, according to the embassy, Ankara still expects “the immediate extradition of Fetullah Gulen from the United States to Turkey, so that he can stand trial.”
Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reported citing its sources that US Special Counsel Robert Mueller was investigating former White House national security adviser Mike Flynn’s alleged role in forcible extradition of Gulen living in Pennsylvania to Turkey in return for $15 millions. However, a lawyer for Flynn’s son and a spokesman for Flynn’s team denies accusations coming from the Wall Street Journal’s report, according to Reuters. Aditionally, media reported in March that Flynn was involved in carrying out research on Gulen that may have benefited the Turkish government.
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Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded Gulen’s extradition from the US after the failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016 claimed the lives of more than 240 people. The Turkish government has accused Fethullah Gulen, who has been living in Pennsylvania since 1999, of masterminding the coup. Moreover, Ankara has sent several packages of documents to Washington since then to support the extradition request.