Minister of Justice, Abdulhamit Gül announced on Friday that Turkey had requested the extradition of 419 FETO (Fetullah Terrorist Organization) affiliated fugitives, members of the pseudo-religious cult which plotted the coup attempt of July 15, from various countries.
In an interview with Anadolu Agency, the minister noted that: “The extradition of 419 FETO leaders and members have been requested from foreign countries to date”. Adding that “red notice requests” had been issued for affiliates of the group who couldn’t be tracked down, Gul noted that there were FETO affiliates whose whereabouts were still unclear. Underscoring that the requests for extradition were issued after thorough investigation into the terroristic cult by the Turkish courts, Gul noted that these requests were conveyed via the Ministry of Justice to the respective countries that the fugitives escaped to or sought political protection in.
The threat that FETO poses is still underestimated by many countries. With a global network operating in over 160 countries, a net worth of 50 billion USD as of 2008, selflessly obedient followers who can give up anything and commit the most horrendous crimes on the command of their leader Fetullah Gulen, and a gruesome track record of devising a deadly coup across Turkey, martyring over 250 civilians and injuring over 2200 individuals in July 15, 2016. Turkey charges the organization with plotting to overthrow the state through an insidious decades-long infiltration into many state apparatuses spanning the military, judiciary as well as many strategic governmental organizations.
Minister Gul underlined that Turkey had reiterated its request for the extradition of the head of the cult, Fetullah Gulen, 7 times to the United States. Highlighting that the extradition requests were in line with the law of extradition and ample evidence and relevant documentation was submitted to the authorities, the Minister added that fresh evidence was shared with renewed requests.
The discrepancy between the judicial systems of the two countries is called to question as Turkey recently released Pastor Brunson after he went through a fair trial, whereas a leader that asks its followers to execute civilians -let alone being put to trial- is living merrily under state protection of the United States. Hopeful of the availing of justice, Justice Minister Abdulhamit concluded: “Our extradition requests are still held in the U.S. Department of Justice. At this point, our expectation is the initiation of a judicial process for extradition as soon as possible”