US checking Turkey's extradition demand's formality
The U.S. said Thursday it was still reviewing the documents Turkey sent for extradition of the failed coup attempt's mastermind, Fetullah Terror Organization's (FETO) leader Fetullah Gulen.
Without going into the details of the process, the State Department said evaluating the evidence that is presented by Turkey took time and was not an overnight process -- although it has been almost 20 days since the first documents were received by the U.S.
"The rhetoric coming from Turkey is that they have made a formal request,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said during a press briefing. "We're still trying to assess that."
According to Toner, Turkey sent two sets of documents over the almost 20 days since July 19.
He said the first set of the documents did not constitute a formal extradition request and that the Justice Department was reviewing the second tranche.
Turkey has repeatedly said that the U.S.-based preacher, Gulen, is the mastermind of the failed coup. Ankara has sent the U.S. so far two official requests for his extradition to face trial. Gulen, who accused of leading FETO, has lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. since 1999. The coup attempt left 239 martyrs and nearly 2,200 others injured, according to Turkish authorities.
Condemning the putsch again, the spokesman said the U.S. had nothing to do with the failed efforts to overthrow the democratically-elected Turkish government and described the allegations over it as "absurd".
"We support that government wholeheartedly as a strong ally and partner in the region," he said.
Meanwhile, Toner said he had nothing to announce of whether Secretary of State John Kerry will go to Turkey later this month or not.
Last Modified: 2016-08-05 10:15:34
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