US: No update on extradition request of FETO leader Gulen
Joint team from state, justice departments reviewing documents, US official says
The State Department said Friday there is no update on the review process of Turkey's extradition request for recent failed coup mastermind, FETO leader Fetullah Gulen, adding it could be a fairly long process.
"We are in receipt of some material, the Justice Department is still analyzing that material," State Department spokesman John Kirby said during a press briefing in response to a question by Anadolu Agency. "We're going to respect that process."
While the extradition process continues, the Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu have expressed concerns that credible intelligence sources warn authorities of a possible escape of Gulen from the U.S.
When Anadolu Agency asked Kirby whether the U.S. shared in that regard similar concerns with Turkey, he said he has no information one way or the other about it.
"And that's really not a matter for the State Department to speak to," he added.
Asked again by Anadolu Agency whether the U.S. took any security measures to prevent any possible escape by Gulen, he did not make any further comments and said the question had better be directed to the Justice Department.
According to the State Department, a joint team of State Department and the Justice Department are reviewing the extradition request for Gulen that Turkey sent last week -- based on an extradition treaty signed between two countries in 1979.
The treaty's tenth article says that in cases of urgency, if Turkey or the U.S. suspects anyone, the host country needs to arrest the suspect for 60 days until documents for extradition are submitted to the executive authority of the requested party.
Meanwhile, the Department of Justice confirmed to Anadolu Agency that the documents regarding Gulen were received and that they were analyzing them.
Department of Justice spokesman Peter Carr did not respond to Anadolu Agency's question about the "possible escape of FETO leader Gulen from the U.S."
The discussion comes almost 14 days after the failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15.
Turkey's government has repeatedly said the deadly coup attempt, which martyred more than 230 people and injured nearly 2,200 others, was organized by Gulen's followers and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
*Note: The official death toll from the attempted coup has been revised by President Erdogan for 237 from 246. Anadolu Agency will refer to the new figure until an official update.