Turkey to refuse extradition of all suspects to US unless Washington hands over Gulen says Erdogan

By bne IntelliNews January 12, 2018

Turkey will not extradite any terror suspects to the US if Washington continues to refuse to hand over Fethullah Gulen, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on January 11.

Ankara blames the US-based and self-exiled elderly preacher Gulen and his followers for the failed July 2016 coup attempt and has repeatedly asked the US for his extradition.

“Turkey has handed over 12 terror suspects to the US over the past 15 years, but they refuse to give him [Gulen] to us. As long as I am in office, you [the US] will not get any terror suspects from us,” Erdogan said in a speech he delivered in Ankara.

On a separate note, Turkey summoned US Chargé d’Affairs Philip Kosnett in Ankara on January 11 to voice its anger over the categorisation of Turkey as a country with an “increased security risk” along with Sudan, Pakistan and Guatemala, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

“We have expressed our disturbance at the inaccurate information posted in this travel advice,” a senior Turkish official told the newspaper.

Relations between Ankara and Washington have grown tense over a wide range of issues, including last year's US support for the Kurdish militia in Syria in advance of the assault on Raqqa and the conviction in New York of Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a deputy CEO and former head of international banking at Halkbank, for helping to evade Iran sanctions.

Earlier this week, Erdogan described the case against Atilla as “a coup attempt”.

“Those who could not succeed in the military coup attempt in July [2016] are now searching for a different attempt in our country. The case [against Atilla] in the US is [part of] this political coup attempt,” Erdogan said on January 9.

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