Turkish Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül said on Friday that the Turkish government has so far asked for the extradition of 419 people linked to the faith-based Gülen movement, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
“Red Notice requests have also been issued for those whose whereabouts are not clear,” Gül said.
He said Turkey has sent seven requests to the US for the extradition of Fethullah Gülen, the movement’s leader, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999.
“Our extradition requests are still being held at the US Department of Justice. At this point, our expectation is the initiation of a judicial procedure for extradition as soon as possible,” Gül said.
The Turkish government accuses Gülen of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15 although US officials have several times stated that they have not received any credible evidence from Turkey on these allegations.
Turkey’s notorious National Intelligence Organization (MİT) has so far abducted more than 80 people allegedly linked with the movement.
US media last year reported that Gülen was part of a potential bargain between former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and top Turkish officials.
An alleged plan that involved Flynn forcibly removing Gülen in return for millions of dollars is being investigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, The Wall Street Journal reported on Nov. 10, 2017.
Michael Flynn and his son, Michael Jr. Flynn, were to be paid as much as $15 million to hand Gülen over to the Turkish government under the alleged proposal, according to people with knowledge of discussions Flynn had with Turkish representatives during a reported meeting in December at the 21 Club in New York City.
The alleged meeting to discuss the kidnapping of Gülen followed another meeting in September in New York between Flynn and Berat Albayrak, then-energy minister of Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law, and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, with the attendance of former CIA director James Woolsey, who described the proposal to The Wall Street Journal as “a covert step in the dead of night to whisk this guy away.” (turkishminute.com)